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Security Measurement

Red Hat Product Security are committed to providing tools and data to help security measurement. Part of this commitment is our participation at board level in the MITRE CVE and OVAL projects. We also provide reports and metrics, but more importantly, we also provide the raw data so customers and researchers can produce their own metrics, for their own unique situations, and hold us accountable.

CVRF Documents

The Common Vulnerability Reporting Framework (CVRF) standard enables organisations to share information about security issues with a consistent and common format.

OVAL Definitions

OVAL definitions are available for all vulnerabilities that affect Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, 4, 5, and 6:

Vulnerability Statements and Acknowledgements

We publish acknowledgments and official statements for vulnerabilities currently under investigation and for vulnerabilities that do not affect our products and services:

These statements are also available directly in Red Hat vulnerabilities by CVE name

Vulnerability Data

CVE to date, CVE to severity, CVE to CVSS mapping

This data source maps CVE names to the dates the issues were first known to the public. This helps generate statistics based on "days of risk". This data source also captures the severity of the issues and how we found out about them (dates and sources). Although the dates may come from third-parties, the severity classifications are given by Red Hat Product Security and are specific to Red Hat, and will vary for other distributions and vendors. This file is created manually, and is updated every one or two weeks (or by request, by contacting secalert@redhat.com):

RHSA to date mapping

This data source is a mapping of Red Hat Security Advisories to the dates and times the advisories were issued. Most of this data comes automatically from the Red Hat Network, but some entries requiring manual adjustment have been annotated:

RHSA to CVE and CPE mapping

This data source is a mapping of Red Hat Security Advisories to the vulnerabilities fixed (identified by CVE name). This file contains the product names affected in CPE format, and the package names, allowing the file to be filtered by a product or package subset:

CPE lists for default installations

Red Hat Enterprise Linux ships with a large number of packages, but they are not all installed by default. These files give lists of packages in default installations, which can be used to filter the metrics. The format is the CPE name with the package name appended:

CVE to CWE mapping

This data source is a mapping of CVE addressed by Red Hat Security Advisories to the associates vulnerability CWE chain:

CPE Dictionary

CPE is a structured naming scheme for information technology systems, software, and packages. For reference, we provide a dictionary mapping the CPE names we use, to Red Hat product descriptions. Some of these CPE names will be for new products that are not in the official CPE dictionary, and should therefore be treated as temporary CPE names:

Data Analysis

We provide a Perl script which creates reports based on the cve_dates.txt, release_dates.txt, and rhsamapcpe.txt data sources above. For a given product, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and a date range, the script can list all the security issues fixed by severity and gives a "days of risk" metric, displayed as "Average is x days", as well as vulnerability work flow statistics. For example, run the following command to create a summary report of all critical advisories for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5:

perl daysofrisk.pl --cpe enterprise_linux:5 --severity C

Sample Reports

You can use the daysofrisk.pl script to run sample reports based on the above data sources. The following are pre-generated examples:

DistributionDatesSeverityMetrics
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (all packages)20031022-20101031all dates
Critical flaws
180 vulnerabilities
Average is 2 days
Median is 1 days
87% were within 1 day
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (all packages)20050215-20120229all dates
For all flaws regardless of severity
1974 vulnerabilities
Average is 87 days
Median is 15 days
34% were within 1 day
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 AS (default installation packages) 20050215-20120229all dates
Critical flaws
66 vulnerabilities
Average is 0.5 days
Median is 0 days
94% were within 1 day
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server (default installation packages) 20070314-20141001all dates
For all flaws regardless of severity
1589 vulnerabilities
Average is 96.3 days
Median is 9 days
45% were within 1 day
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (all packages)20070314-20141001all dates
Critical flaws
382 vulnerabilities
Average is 0.4 days
Median is 0 days
98% were within 1 day
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (all packages)20101110-20141001all dates
Critical flaws
307 vulnerabilities
Average is 0.8 days
Median is 0 days
92% were within 1 day

More information