Open Source Vulnerability Database Releases Free Security Data to the Public

According to statistics gathered by CERT, a respected security resource at Carnegie Mellon University, the number of new computer security vulnerabilities found each year has risen over two thousand percent since 1995. Tracking these vulnerabilities and their remedies is critical for those who protect networked systems against accidental misuse and deliberate attack, whether at home, in small businesses, or across globe-spanning enterprises.

The Open Source Vulnerability Database (OSVDB) is an open project to collect and distribute vulnerability information freely to everyone. The project team contains skilled volunteers working together to document every security vulnerability that arises. Formed in 2002, the OSVDB project has now completed its development of an online system to store and deliver vulnerability data.

“The OSVDB’s main goal is to be complete and without bias,” says Jake Kouns, chief moderator of the OSVDB project team. “This database will serve as one-stop shopping for all vulnerability needs.”

The OSVDB collects vulnerability data on every type of computer software and operating system. Like other open-source projects, the OSVDB depends on the wide expertise of its contributors to provide dependable information on many technologies and security problems. The project’s open-source license makes the results freely available to users worldwide.

Warren Ward, in charge of research at Winterforce, an e-commerce and security consultancy, says “Other vulnerability databases do exist. But there are frequently restrictions on their use. The OSVDB’s open license frees us to serve our clients.”

In addition to its current capabilities, the OSVDB is planning the release of several new services and data products in the upcoming months. Some will make database access easier for end users, others will support the specialized tasks of software developers and security analysts.

The OSVDB online system can be found at

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