Today I would like to write about a popular type of “security research” that really drives me crazy: when author takes public Vulnerability Base and, by analyzing it, makes different conclusions about software products or operating systems.
The article is based on Flexera/Secunia whitepaper. The main idea is that various security software products are insecure, because of amount of vulnerability IDs related to this software existing in Flexera Vulnerability Database. In fact, the whole article is just a listing of such “unsafe” products and vendors (IBM Security, AlienVault USM and OSSIM, Palo Alto, McAfee, Juniper, etc.) and the expert commentary: cybercriminals may use vulnerabilities in security products and avoid blocking their IP-address; customers should focus on the security of their proprietary code first of all, and then include security products in the protection scheme.
What can I say about these opuses of this kind?
They provide “good” practices for software vendors:
Hide information about vulnerabilities in your products
The common task. Уou need to find all information about some vulnerability: how critical the bug is, whether there is a public exploit, which vendors already released patches, which vulnerability scanner can detect this bug in the system. Previously, you had to search it all manually in dozens of sources (CVEDetails, SecurityFocus, Rapid7 DB, Exploit-DB, CVEs from MITRE / NIST, vendor newsletters, etc.) and analyze the collected data. Today, this routine can be (and should be!) automated with specialized services. One of these services – Vulners.com, the coolest search engine for bugs. And what is the most important – it’s free and has an open API. Let’s see how it can be useful for us.
What is it?
Vulners is a very large constantly updating database of Information Security content. This site lets you search for vulnerabilities, exploits, patches, bug bounty programs the same way a web search engine lets you search for websites. Vulners aggregates and presents in convenient form seven major types of data:
Vendor’s security bulletins. This bug-reports are published by software vendors and contain information about vulnerabilities in their own products. At current moment Vulners supports various Linux distributions (Red Hat, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Arch Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, SUSE), FreeBSD, network devices (F5 Networks, Cisco, Huawei, Palo Alto Networks), popular and critical software (OpenSSL, Samba, nginx, Mozilla, Opera), including CMS (WordPress, Drupal).
Exploits from Exploit-DB, Metasploit and 0day.today. Exploits are parsed and stored in full-text form and you can read the sources in a convenient text editor.
Establish a process to identify security vulnerabilities, using reputable outside sources for security vulnerability information… It’s one of the requirements of PCI DSS v3.2 (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). It’s not about regular scans, as you could think. It is actually about monitoring web-sites and mailing lists where information about vulnerabilities is published. It’s very similar to what Vulnerability Intelligence systems have to do, isn’t it? A great opportunity for me to speculate about this class of products and deal with related PCI requirement. In this post I will mention following solutions: Flexera VIM, Rapid7 Nexpose NOW, Vulners.com and Qualys ThreatPROTECT.
Term “Vulnerability Intelligence” is almost exclusively used by only one security company – Secunia, or how it is called now Flexera Software. But I like this term more than “Threat Intelligence”, a term that many VM vendor use, but historically it is more about traffic and network attacks. Let’s see how Vulnerability Intelligence solutions was developed, and how they can be used (including requirements of PCI Compliance).
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