Identifying critical unpatched vulnerabilities on a Red Hat system

These are some working notes for identifying critical unpatched vulnerabilities on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system (version 6).

If you install yum-security plugin, you can list security updates available and which CVEs they relate to, as well as their severity according to Red Hat ratings system:

yum update-info list cves available

Identifying which unpatched CVEs (as returned by the yum-security plugin) are Critical according to CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System), with score > 7:

Scored CVEs are available from National Vulnerability Database through a set of XML feeds. The NIST web site says:

A common way to use the feeds is to perform a one-time import of all of the
main XML vulnerability feeds and then use the “modified” feeds to keep

The “xml2” package converts from XML to various formats. I started by converting the 2015 XML to CSV:

$ xml2 < nvdcve-2.0-2015.xml > nvdcve-2.0-2015.flat
$ 2csv entry vuln:cve-id vuln:cvss/cvss:base_metrics/cvss:score vuln:summary < nvdcve-2.0-2015.flat > nvdcve-2.0-2015.csv

Next step: lookup the CVSS scores for CVEs returned by yum-security, is left as an exercise for the reader.

xml2 home
– “xml2” is available through sudo apt install xml2 on Ubuntu

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