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Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2017 18:12:52 +0100
From: (Ludovic Courtès)
Cc: Leo Famulari <>
Subject: Dealing with CVEs that apply to unspecified package versions


Some CVE entries do not specify the version of the package(s) they apply
to.  For instance, the software list for CVE-2016-10165 contains
“cpe:/a:littlecms:little_cms_color_engine”, which theoretically means
that it applies to any version of lcms.

The problem is automated tools cannot exploit such entries in practice
because they cannot tell which package versions are affected.

While tuning our CVE tracking tool in GNU Guix, we found that such
entries are not uncommon:

What are the possibilities to address this issue?

I can think of two actions that could perhaps be taken:

  1. The software behind the CVE form could force submitters to specify
     version numbers.

  2. For recent entries (say, 2 years old at most), a bot could email
     the original submitters kindly asking them to provide the missing
     version info.



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