Network Security, Vulnerability Management

Research: U.S. slower than China at recording bugs in national vulnerability database

China's National Vulnerability Database (CCNVD) is much faster than its U.S. counterpart when it comes to reporting the latest confirmed product vulnerabilities, according to a new report.

Researchers at Recorded Future found that between Sept. 13, 2015 and Sept. 13, 2017, it took an average of 33 days for the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to record a vulnerability in the U.S. National Vulnerability Database (NVD), once that vulnerability was first disclosed or published anywhere on the web.

However, it only took an average of 13 days for the China Information Technology Evaluation Center (CNITSEC), an office within China's Ministry of State Security (MSS), to update the CCNVD with newly disclosed vulnerabilities.

"On any given day, there is more current information about software vulnerabilities on CNNVD than on NVD," states Bill Ladd, chief analytic officer at Recorded Future, in the blog post report.

Another way to look at it: Of the 17,940 vulnerabilities reported by both the NVD and CNNVD during the aforementioned two year span, 75 percent were incorporated into China's database within six days of initial disclosure, while 90 percent were included within 18 days. In contrast, the U.S. NCV was only able to report 75 percent of disclosed vulnerabilities within 20 days, and 90 percent within 92 days.

However, the U.S. did perform better than China when a vendor's vulnerability disclosure was specifically coordinated with database operators, the report notes.

According to Recorded Future, the U.S. vulnerability reporting process is slower because the NVD waits to publish the latest vulnerabilities until after they are first published in the MITRE Corporation's CVE Dictionary. However, this voluntary process is not always timely.

Meanwhile, China doesn't operate under such restrictions.

"China has prioritized timely disclosure by using extensive sources of vulnerability information across the web rather than relying on voluntary industry submissions," Ladd writes. "While the U.S. government has focused on a process, China has focused on the key goal, reporting available vulnerabilities Surely, NIST's Information Technology Laboratory, with its about 400 scientific and technical staff and its roughly $120 million budget, could do the same."

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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