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Patch CVE

In simple words, a CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) is a unique ID assigned for a security problem found in computer software. When experts discover a flaw or weakness in a program, they give it a CVE ID. 

This helps everyone talk about the same issue and work together to fix it. There is a CVE program, whose mission is to identify, define and catalog publicly disclosed cybersecurity vulnerabilities. 

What is CVE?

The CVE program is overseen by the MITRE corporation with funding from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Here is how it works: 
  1. Vulnerability Identification: When a security vulnerability is discovered, whether by security researchers, vendors, or other stakeholders, it is assigned a unique CVE identifier.
  2. CVE Assignment: The CVE Program assigns a CVE ID to each reported vulnerability. This identifier follows a specific format, typically comprising the prefix “CVE” followed by a year and a sequential number (e.g., CVE-2024-12345).
  3. CVE Entry Creation: A CVE entry is created for each assigned CVE ID. This entry includes detailed information about the vulnerability, such as its description, affected software versions, potential impact, and any available mitigations or fixes.
  4. Public Disclosure: CVE entries are made publicly accessible through the CVE database and other channels. This enables security professionals, vendors, researchers, and users to access information about known vulnerabilities and take appropriate actions to address them. It´s important to note that before the public disclosure, the impacted vendors are informed on the vulnerability found so they can work on the mitigation beforehand.
  5. Coordination and Collaboration: The CVE Program facilitates collaboration among various stakeholders, including vendors, researchers, vulnerability coordinators, and the broader cybersecurity community. This collaboration helps ensure that vulnerabilities are addressed effectively, and that relevant information is shared transparently.
  6. Cross-Referencing: CVE IDs are widely used as references in security advisories, vulnerability databases, and other cybersecurity resources. This allows for easy cross-referencing and linking of information related to specific vulnerabilities across different platforms and repositories.
  7. Continuous Monitoring and Updates: The CVE Program continuously monitors for new vulnerabilities and updates existing CVE entries as new information becomes available. This ensures that the CVE database remains accurate and up to date over time.
Overall, the CVE program plays a critical role in standardizing the identification, documentation, and communication of vulnerabilities, thereby facilitating effective cybersecurity practices, and enhancing overall security posture across the digital landscape.

What´s an example of a CVE?

Back in 2018, a vulnerability affecting modern microprocessors was announced, it was called Spectre. It affected all processors that use speculative execution. 

The impact of this vulnerability was huge, since almost every computer system in the world was affected, including servers, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, it was proven to work on Intel, AMD, ARM-based, and IBM processors. Given it´s significant impact, it caused particular interest in the IT community. 

CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715 are the official references to Spectre and the reason for having two is because there´s two different variants for this vulnerability. 

What is the relationship between patches, vulnerabilities, and CVE?

Patches, vulnerabilities, and Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) are intricately interconnected components within the realm of cybersecurity. Vulnerabilities represent weaknesses or flaws in software, hardware, or systems that malicious actors can exploit to compromise security. 

Once vulnerabilities are discovered, developers release patches or updates to fix them, thereby enhancing the security posture of the affected system or software. 

CVEs, on the other hand, are standardized identifiers assigned to publicly disclosed vulnerabilities, providing a unique reference point for tracking, and discussing security issues across various platforms and organizations. 

Patches are the remedies designed to address vulnerabilities, and CVEs serve as the standardized nomenclature to identify and communicate these vulnerabilities, facilitating collaboration and information sharing within the cybersecurity community. 

This relationship underlines the importance of prompt patching to mitigate security risks and the role of CVEs in streamlining vulnerability management and communication efforts. 

How do I know if my system is affected by a CVE?

  • The number of CVEs reported is huge, so keeping track of each one that affects my system is complex. Fortunately, software developers fix vulnerabilities in newer software versions, so typically, by the time the operating system and applications are updated, older CVEs are already resolved and there is no need to worry about them. Older systems may be at risk, but also, with new CVEs appearing every day, there is still some risk with newer systems.  
  • Software patches are classified in different ways, but critical and security patches are the ones that address vulnerabilities. If your system is missing any of those, your system is likely to be affected by a vulnerability reported on a CVE. 
  • The way to be safe is to have a patch management system that ensures systems are up to date with patches. Since applications and operating systems have limited support, at some point vendors stop researching and releasing security updates, so staying up to date on hardware, operating system and applications is another crucial part. 

Can NinjaOne detect systems affected by a CVE?

NinjaOne can detect systems missing patches and it can detect patch classification. Using NinjaOne can help detect systems missing critical or security patches which are considered vulnerable and are likely affected by a vulnerability reported on a CVE. 

Next Steps

Patch CVE FAQs

Patching a vulnerability associated with a CVE involves applying the specific fix or update provided by the software vendor or developer to address the identified security issue. 

When a vulnerability is found on a software program and documented on a CVE, a patch is written, aimed to fix this vulnerability and it´s technically called a cyber security patch. Cyber security patches often close security holes or implement mitigations to reduce the risk of exploitation. These patches may address vulnerabilities such as buffer overflows, injection attacks, authentication bypasses, or other software flaws that could be exploited by attackers

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