Record-Breaking Number of Vulnerabilities Disclosed in 2017: Report

A record-breaking number of vulnerabilities were disclosed in 2017, with a total of 20,832 such security flaws, a new report from Risk Based Security shows. According to the company’s VulnDB QuickView report, last year saw a 31.0% year-on-year increase in the number of vulnerabilities disclosed. The number of flaws recorded by the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) increased as well.

Of all the issues published by Risk Based Security in 2017, 7,900 weren’t documented by MITRE’s Common Vulnerability Enumeration (CVE) and NVD, and 44.5% of these issues had a CVSSv2 score between 7.0 and 10. This, the security firm notes, represents a major risk for organizations worldwide, as they might not even be aware of the fact that those vulnerabilities exist. In 2017, 39.3% of all published vulnerabilities have CVSSv2 scores above 7.0, 48.5% of them can be exploited remotely, and public exploits exist for 31.5% of the vulnerabilities, the security firm’s report (PDF) reveals.

Half (50.6%) of the 2017 vulnerabilities are web-related and 28.9% of these web-related issues are Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) bugs. The list of top ten vendors with vulnerabilities featuring CVSS scores between 9.0 and 10.0 includes Google (503 flaws), SUSE (301), Canonical (285), Red Hat (274), SGP – a subsidiary of Silent Circle (257), Adobe (256), Mozilla (246), Samsung (228), Oracle (201), and Xerox (198). The top ten products with vulnerabilities featuring CSSv2 Scores 9.0 – 10.0 include Google Pixel/Nexus devices (354 issues), Ubuntu (285), SilentOS (257), Red Had Enterprise Linux (253), Firefox (246), SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (226), Samsung Mobile Devices (226), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (197), OpenSUSE Leap (196), and FreeFlow Print Server (191).

Last year, at least 44.8% (9,335) of vulnerabilities disclosed were coordinated with the vendor and only 18.6% (3,875) of them were uncoordinated disclosures. Only 5.9% of 2017 vulnerabilities were disclosed as part of vendor or third-party bug bounty programs, the report reveals. While most of the vulnerabilities disclosed last year (72.8%) have updates or some form of a patch available for them, 23.2% of the issues currently have no known solution.

However, 443 of the vulnerabilities reported in 2017 were found to have no risk due to inaccurate disclosures, meaning that no mitigation was necessary for them. The report also reveals that only 1.7% of all reported vulnerabilities in 2017 were found in SCADA products, down from 2.8% in 2016.

52.2% of the SCADA vulnerabilities were remotely exploitable, 73.5% had an impact on the integrity of the product, and 61.3% were related to improper input validation. “Organizations that track and triage vulnerability patching saw no relief in 2017, as it was yet another record-breaking year for vulnerability disclosures.

The increasingly difficult task of protecting digital assets has never been so critical to businesses as we continue to see a rise in compromised organizations and data breaches.

If your vulnerability intelligence solution didn’t offer information on the more than 20,000 vulnerabilities disclosed in 2017, your organization is at an increased risk”, said Brian Martin, VP of Vulnerability Intelligence for Risk Based Security.

Related: 2,227 Breaches Exposed 6 Billion Records in First Half of 2017: Report


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