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[CVEPRI] CVE Compatibility requirements - version 0.5



Below is the latest writeup of the requirements and recommendations
for CVE compatibility.  This document will be posted on the new web
site.  Requirements will be reviewed in more detail in the upcoming
CVE compatibility teleconference.

The greatest change in this document is in the section requiring the
use of CVE versions, much of which was fed by the discussions at last
week's meeting.

- Steve



Requirements and Recommendations for CVE Compatibility
------------------------------------------------------
Steve Christey
The MITRE Corporation
coley@mitre.org
CVE web site: http://cve.mitre.org

Document version: 0.5
Date: August 22, 2000


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This is a draft report and does not represent an official position of
the MITRE Corporation.  (c) 2000, The MITRE Corporation.  All rights
reserved.  Permission is granted to redistribute this document if this
paragraph is not removed.  This draft is subject to change without
notice.

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*****************************
Table of Contents
*****************************
1. Definitions
2. Prerequisites
3. High-Level Requirements
4. Additional Requirements for Web Sites
5. Additional Requirements for Security Tools
6. Additional Requirements for Other Repositories
7. Accuracy Requirements
8. Good Faith Requirements
9. Requirements with Respect to CVE Versions
10. Requirements for Repositories that Use Candidate Numbers
11. Revocation of CVE Compatibility


*****************************
1. Definitions
*****************************

Security Element - a database record, e-mail message, security
advisory, assessment probe, signature, etc., which is related to
information system security information.

Repository - a collection of security elements, e.g. a database,
security tool, or web site

Owner - the owner or maintainer of the repository

Map/Mapping - the specification of relationships between security
elements in a repository and the CVE entries or candidates that are
related to those elements.

Review - the process of determining whether a repository is
CVE-compatible.

Review Version - the version of CVE that is being used for determining
compatibility of a repository.

Review Authority - an entity that performs a Review.  MITRE is the
only Review Authority at this time.


**********************************************************
2. Prerequisites
**********************************************************

1) The repository Owner MUST be a valid legal entity, e.g. a
corporation or a specific individual.

2) The Owner MUST provide MITRE with free access to the repository.
This allows MITRE to review the mapping for accuracy and identify
security elements in the repository that must be added to CVE.

3) The repository MUST provide additional value or information beyond
that which is provided in CVE itself (i.e. name, description,
references, and associated candidate data).


**********************************************************
3. High-Level Requirements
**********************************************************

These are the high-level requirements for all repositories.  They are
described in detail in later sections.

1) The repository MUST allow users to locate security elements using
CVE names ("CVE-Searchable").

2) When the repository presents security elements to the user, it MUST
allow the user to obtain the associated CVE names ("CVE-Output").

3) The repository mapping MUST accurately link security elements to
the appropriate CVE names ("Mapping Accuracy").

4) The repository Owner MUST make a good faith effort to maintain the
accuracy and currency of the mapping ("Good Faith").

5) The repository MUST identify the Review Version that was used by
the Review Authority for determining compatibility.

6) Each new version of the repository MUST specify the most recent CVE
version that was used to create or update the repository's mapping.

7) The repository SHOULD be reviewed by a Review Authority once per
year.

8) If the repository does not satisfy all requirements, then it MUST
NOT be advertised that it is CVE-compatible.

The repository is NOT REQUIRED to do any of the following:
  - use the same descriptions or references as CVE
  - use CVE candidate numbers
  - include every CVE entry in its repository


**********************************************************
4. Additional Requirements for Web Sites
**********************************************************

1) The web site MUST allow a user to type in a CVE name and retrieve
the related security elements from the repository ("CVE-Searchable").
The web site MAY satisfy this requirement by providing a web page
which links CVE numbers to the related elements.

2) A web page that provides details for an individual security element
MUST identify the CVE entry/entries that map to that element
("CVE-Output").  If web pages are not provided for individual
elements, then the CVE name MUST be associated with the security
element in some other fashion.

3) The web site SHOULD provide a URL "template" that allows a computer
program to easily construct a link that accesses the search capability
as outlined in (1).  This will allow CVE-compatible web sites to
easily link to each other, and reduce the effort of link maintenance.
Examples:

  http://www.example.com/cve/my-db-cve-name.cgi?name=CVE-YYYY-NNNN
  http://www.example.com/cve/CVE-YYYY-NNNN.html

If the URL template is for a CGI program, the program MUST accept the
HTTP "GET" method.

4) The web site MAY link to specific CVE entries on the official CVE
web site.  The URL template is:

   http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-YYYY-NNNN


**********************************************************
5. Additional Requirements for Security Tools
**********************************************************

A security tool is a software application or device that examines a
host or network and produces information that is related to
vulnerabilities or exposures, e.g. a vulnerability assessment tool,
intrusion detection system, or a risk management product.  A "task" is
a security tool's probe, check, signature, etc. which performs some
action that produces security information.

1) The tool MUST allow the user to use CVE names to locate associated
tasks in that tool ("CVE-Searchable").  The tool MAY satisfy this
requirement by providing the user with a mapping between task names
and CVE names.

2) For any report that provides details for individual vulnerabilities
or exposures, the tool MUST allow the user to include CVE names in
that report ("CVE-Output").

3) The tool SHOULD provide the user with a list of all CVE entries
that are associated with the tool's tasks.

4) The tool SHOULD allow the user to specify a set of tasks by
providing a file that contains a list of CVE names.

5) The interface of the tool SHOULD allow the user to browse, select,
and deselect a set of tasks by using individual CVE names.

6) If the tool does not have a task that is associated with a CVE name
as specified by the user in (4) or (5) above, then the tool SHOULD
notify the user that it cannot perform the associated task.


**********************************************************
6. Additional Requirements for Other Repositories
**********************************************************

These requirements attempt to characterize what "CVE-Searchable" and
"CVE-Output" might mean for other repositories besides web sites and
tools.  These requirements are likely to change in the future.

1) If a graphical user interface (GUI) is provided with the
repository, then:
   - A search capability MUST be provided that allows a user to use a
     CVE name to retrieve the related security elements from the
     repository.
   - A window/dialog that provides details for an individual security
     element MUST allow the user to identify the CVE entry/entries
     that map to that element.

2) If a GUI is NOT provided with the repository, then the repository
SHOULD be structured so that:
   - A query or other programmed search mechanism can locate
     related security elements when provided with a CVE name.
   - The CVE name or names for a specific security element can be
     accessed from each element using a query or other programmed
     search mechanism.
   - If the repository provides a mapping to the end user, then it
     is regarded as satisfying these two requirements.


**********************************************************
7. Accuracy Requirements
**********************************************************

CVE compatibility only facilitates data sharing if the mappings are
accurate.  Therefore, CVE-compatible products must meet minimum
accuracy requirements.


Review Authority Requirements
-----------------------------

1) The Review Authority MUST define a Sample Size, which is the
percentage and/or the number of security elements to be examined by
the Review Authority.  The Review Authority SHOULD use a minimum
Sample Size of either 50 elements or 20% of the repository.  The
Review Authority MAY review every element in the repository.

2) The Review Authority MUST publicize the sampling method.  The
Review Authority MAY use a sample that was not randomly selected.  The
resulting sample of the repository is referred to as the Review
Sample.

3) The Review Authority MUST define a Minimum Accuracy Percentage,
which is the percentage of security elements in the Review Sample that
reference the correct CVE identifiers, i.e.:

   - the CVE name/names of related entry/entries
   - a GENERIC specifier which is approved for use, except
     GENERIC-UNMAPPED.
   - a blank field which is equivalent to GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH.

4) The Minimum Accuracy Percentage SHOULD be 80% or higher.

5) The Review Authority MUST use the same sampling method for all
repositories that are being reviewed with respect to a particular
Review Version.


Repository Requirements
-----------------------

1) The repository Owner MUST provide the Review Authority with free
access to the repository for review.

2) The repository MUST meet or exceed the Minimum Accuracy Percentage.



**********************************************************
8. Good Faith Requirements
**********************************************************

Good Faith on the part of the repository Owner is essential,
especially while CVE compatibility is still being refined as a
concept.

1) The repository Owner MUST provide the Review Authority with a
technical POC who is qualified to answer questions related to the
accuracy, maintenance, or construction of the mapping.

2) During the review period, the Owner MUST correct any mapping errors
found by the Review Authority.

3) After the review period, the Owner SHOULD correct a mapping error
within a reasonable time frame after the error was initially reported,
i.e. within 2 versions of the repository or 6 months, whichever is
shorter.

4) The Owner SHOULD prepare and sign a statement that, to the best of
their knowledge, the Owner has not provided any false information in
the mapping.


Security tools also have the following requirement.

5) The tool vendor SHOULD warrant that, for each task that is
associated with a CVE entry, all of the following are true:
   - the rate of false positives is less than 100% (i.e. if a
     tool claims the presence/abuse of a specific security element, it
     is at least sometimes correct.)
   - the rate of false negatives is less than 100% (i.e. if an
     event occurs that is related to the presence/abuse of a specific
     security element, then sometimes the tool reports that event.)


*********************************************************************
9. Requirements with Respect to CVE Versions
*********************************************************************

Users of a CVE-compatible product must know how "up-to-date" the
repository is with respect to its mappings to CVE.  The repository
owner can indicate the currency of a mapping by using CVE version
numbers.

1) The Review Authority MUST review the repository for CVE
compatibility with respect to a specific CVE version, i.e. the Review
Version.

2) The repository MUST clearly identify the Review Version that was
used to determine compatibility.

3) Each new version of the repository MUST identify the most recent
CVE version that was used in creating or updating the mapping.  The
repository is "up-to-date" with respect to that version.

4) Each new version of the repository SHOULD be up-to-date with a CVE
version that was released no more than 6 months before the release
date of the repository.  If a repository does not satisfy this
requirement, then it is referred to as "out-of-date."


*********************************************************************
10. Requirements for Repositories that Use Candidate Numbers
*********************************************************************

A repository MAY include CVE candidate numbers.  It is not required to
do so.  CVE compatibility is only established with respect to the
entries on the official CVE list.  Candidates are not expected to
become a part of the requirements for CVE compatibility.  In cases
where repositories use candidates, however, certain recommendations
must be followed.

If the repository uses candidate numbers, then:

1) The repository MUST clearly indicate to the user that the candidate
number is not an accepted CVE entry.  The use of the CAN- prefix
itself is sufficient to indicate candidate status.

2) The repository SHOULD include additional supporting text that
describes how candidates are different than official entries.

3) The repository SHOULD include the text "(under review)" after the
candidate number when it is used in natural language text
descriptions.

4) If a candidate has become an official CVE entry within the Review
Version (or earlier), then the repository SHOULD replace that
candidate number with the associated CVE number/numbers.  In other
words, the Owner should keep up-to-date with respect to candidates
that become official entries.

5) If a user performs a search using YYYY-NNNN, the repository SHOULD
return the security elements that correspond to CAN-YYYY-NNNN or
CVE-YYYY-NNNN.

6) If the repository contains the official entry CVE-YYYY-NNNN, but
the user searches using CAN-YYYY-NNNN, then the repository SHOULD
return CVE-YYYY-NNNN, and vice versa.

7) The repository SHOULD indicate the release date associated with the
candidate information.


**********************************************************
11. Revocation of CVE Compatibility
**********************************************************

1) If a Review Authority has verified that a repository is
CVE-compatible, but at a later time the Review Authority has evidence
that the requirements are not being met, then the Review Authority MAY
revoke its approval.

2) Unless recommended by an Editorial Board member who does not have a
conflict of interest, the Review Authority SHOULD NOT perform a full
review of compatibility more often than once every six months.

3) The Review Authority MUST provide the repository Owner and
Technical POC with a warning of revocation at least two months before
revocation is scheduled to occur.  The Review Authority MUST identify
the specific requirements that are being violated.

4) If the Owner does not believe that the requirements are being
violated, then the owner MAY provide supporting evidence to the Review
Authority.

5) The Review Authority MAY delay the date of revocation.

6) If the Owner's actions with respect to CVE compatibility
requirements have been found to be "intentionally misleading," or if
the Owner is not satisfying the Good Faith requirements, then
revocation SHOULD last a minimum of one year.  The Review Authority
MAY interpret the preceding statement as it wishes.

7) If the approval is revoked, the Owner MUST NOT apply for a new
review during the period of revocation.

8) If the approval is revoked, the Review Authority MAY publicize the
revocation.

 
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