CVE-Search : A Tool To Perform Local Searches For Known Vulnerabilities

CVE-Search is a tool to import CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) and CPE (Common Platform Enumeration) into a MongoDB to facilitate search and processing of CVEs.

The main objective of the software is to avoid doing direct and public lookups into the public CVE databases. Local lookups are usually faster and you can limit your sensitive queries via the Internet.

CVE-Search includes a back-end to store vulnerabilities and related information, an intuitive web interface for search and managing vulnerabilities, a series of tools to query the system and a web API interface.

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Requirements CVE-Search

  • Python3.3 or later
  • MongoDB 2.2 or later
  • redis server
  • Pip3
    • PyMongo
    • Flask
    • Flask-PyMongo
    • Flask-Login
    • Tornado
    • Whoosh
    • Redis
    • Python-dateutil
    • passlib
    • feedformater (for RSS and Atom dump_last)
    • Whoosh (If you’re planning to use the Full-text indexer)
    • irc
    • sleekxmpp
    • Werkzeug
    • Jinja2
    • itsdangerous
    • click

The requirements can be installed with pip:

sudo pip3 install -r requirements.txt

Installation of MongoDB

First, you’ll need to have a Python 3 installation (3.3 or higher). Then you need to install MongoDB (2.2) from source (this should also work with any standard packages from your favorite distribution). Don’t forget to install the headers for development while installing MongoDB.

Populating the database

For the initial run, you need to populate the CVE database by running:


./sbin/ -p
./sbin/ -c

It will fetch all the existing XML files from the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures database and the Common Platform Enumeration. The initial Common Platform Enumeration (CPE) import might take some time depending of your configuration.

If you want to add the cross-references from NIST, Red Hat and other vendors:



A more detailed documentation can be found in the Documentations folder of the project.

Databases & Collections

The MongoDB database is called cvedb and there are 11 collections:

  • cves (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure items) – source NVD NIST
  • cpe (Common Platform Enumeration items) – source NVD NIST
  • cwe (Common Weakness Enumeration items) – source NVD NIST
  • capec (Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification) – source NVD NIST
  • ranking (ranking rules per group) – local cve-search
  • d2sec (Exploitation reference from D2 Elliot Web Exploitation Framework) – source
  • MITRE Reference Key/Maps – source MITRE reference Key/Maps
  • ms – (Microsoft Bulletin (Security Vulnerabilities and Bulletin)) – source Microsoft
  • exploitdb (Offensive Security – Exploit Database) – source offensive security
  • info (metadata of each collection like last-modified) – local cve-search
  • via4 VIA4CVE cross-references.

The Redis database has 3 databases:

  • 10: The cpe (Common Platform Enumeration) cache – source MongoDB cvedb collection cpe
  • 11: The notification database – source cve-search
  • 12: The CVE reference database is a cross-reference database to CVE ids against various vendors ID – source NVD NIST/MITRE

The reference database has 3 additional sources:

  • MITRE Reference Key/Maps.
  • Red Hat RPM to CVE database.
  • Red Hat RHSA Oval database.

Updating the database

An updater script helps to start the db_mgmt_*

./sbin/ -v

You can run it in a crontab, logging is done in syslog by default.

Repopulating the database

To easily drop and re-populate all the databases

./sbin/ -v -f

This will drop all the existing external sources and reimport everything. This operation can take some time and it’s usually only required when new attributes parsing are added in cve-search.


You can search the database using

./bin/ -p cisco:ios:12.4
./bin/ -p cisco:ios:12.4 -o json
./bin/ -f nagios -n
./bin/ -p microsoft:windows_7 -o html

If you want to search all the WebEx vulnerabilities and only printing the official references from the supplier.

./bin/ -p webex: -o csv  -v "cisco"

You can also dump the JSON for a specific CVE ID.

./bin/ -c CVE-2010-3333

Or you can use the XMPP bot

./bin/ -j -p strongpassword

Or dump the last 2 CVE entries in RSS or Atom format

./bin/ -f atom -l 2

Or you can use the webinterface.


Usage of the ranking database

There is a ranking database allowing to rank software vulnerabilities based on their common platform enumeration name. The ranking can be done per organization or department within your organization or any meaningful name for you.

As an example, you can add a partial CPE name like “sap:netweaver” which is very critical for your accounting department.

./sbin/  -c "sap:netweaver" -g "accounting" -r 3

and then you can lookup the ranking (-r option) for a specific CVE-ID:

./bin/ -c CVE-2012-4341  -r  -n

Advanced usage

As cve-search is based on a set of tools, it can be used and combined with standard Unix tools. If you ever wonder what are the top vendors using the term “unknown” for their vulnerabilities:

python3 bin/ -q unknown -f | jq -c '. | .vulnerable_configuration[0]' | cut -f5 -d: | sort  | uniq -c  | sort -nr | head -10

1500 oracle
381 sun
372 hp
232 google
208 ibm
126 mozilla
103 microsoft
100 adobe
 78 apple
 68 linux

You can compare CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System ) values of some products based on their CPE name. Like comparing oracle:java versus sun:jre and using R to make some statistics about their CVSS values:

python3 bin/ -p oracle:java -o json  | jq -r '.cvss' | Rscript -e 'summary(as.numeric(read.table(file("stdin"))[,1]))'
Min. 1st Qu.  Median    Mean 3rd Qu.    Max.
1.800   5.350   9.300   7.832  10.000  10.000

python3 bin/ -p sun:jre -o json  | jq -r '.cvss' | Rscript -e 'summary(as.numeric(read.table(file("stdin"))[,1]))'
Min. 1st Qu.  Median    Mean 3rd Qu.    Max.
0.000   5.000   7.500   7.333  10.000  10.000

Fulltext indexing

If you want to index all the CVEs from your current MongoDB collection:


and you query the fulltext index (to get a list of matching CVE-ID):

./bin/ -q NFS -q Linux

or to query the fulltext index and output the JSON object for each CVE-ID:

./bin/ -q NFS -q Linux -f

Fulltext visualization

The fulltext indexer visualization is using the fulltext indexes to build a list of the most common keywords used in CVE. NLTK is required to generate the keywords with the most common English stopwords and lemmatize the output. NTLK for Python 3 exists but you need to use the alpha version of NLTK.

./bin/  -g -s >cve.json

Web API interface

The web interface includes a minimal JSON API to get CVE by ID, by vendor or product. A public version of the API is also accessible on

List the know vendors in JSON


Dump the product of a specific vendor in JSON

  "product": [
  "vendor": "zyxel"

Find the associated vulnerabilities to a vendor and a product

[{"cwe": "CWE-352", "references": ["", "", "


cve-search is free software released under the “Modified BSD license”