OSVDB – 2005 Recap and Status Update

The Open Source Vulnerability Database (OSVDB), a project to catalog and describe the world’s security vulnerabilities, has had a challenging yet successful year. The project is fortunate to have the continued support of some devoted volunteers, yet remains challenged to keep up with the increasing number of vulnerability reports, as well as work on the back-log of historical information. Volunteers are continually sought to help us achieve our short and long-term goals.

Despite resource constraints, there have been many exciting successes in 2005:

* A major project goal of obtaining 501(c)3 non-profit status from the U.S. IRS was achieved. Obtaining non-profit status was critical to the long-term viability of the project. This status allows OSVDB to take charitable donations to help cover operating expenses, while providing a tax benefit to donor companies and individuals.

* The vulnerability database has grown to over 22,000 entries thanks to the dedicated work of Brian Martin, OSVDB Content Manager. At the end of December, over 10,000 of those vulnerabilities were worked on by volunteers to provide more detailed and cross-referenced information. Our volunteer “Data Manglers” and Brian have helped ensure OSVDB is the most complete resource for vulnerability information on the Internet.

* OSVDB started a blog in April, as a way for us to keep the public better informed on the project’s status. Very quickly we realized the blog was a perfect place to discuss and comment on various aspects of vulnerabilities, and has become a successful mechanism for communicating with the security industry. If you have suggestions for topics, or would like to join the discussion, please visit the OSVDB blog at: http://osvdb.org/blog/.

* We are pleased to welcome Kevin Johnson as leader of the OSVDB development team. Kevin joins OSVDB with a strong background in information security, and as leader of the BASE project, has a proven track-record managing open source teams. We are very excited about Kevin joining the project, and hope to provide more information soon regarding the OSVDB development road map. If you are interested in becoming a part of the new OSVDB development team, please contact us!

We would like to also recognize our sponsors and thank them for their support. Digital Defense, Churchill & Harriman, Audit My PC, and Opengear have all provided important resources to OSVDB over the past year. We would also like to thank Renaud Deraison of the Nessus Project and HD Moore of the Metasploit Project for their support. Lastly, we of course want to thank our volunteers, and note that several of them have contributed to Nessus Network Auditing, available from Syngress Publishing.

We are very pleased with the progress and growth of OSVDB over the past year, but do not want to downplay the importance of recruiting new volunteers, as well as retaining our current ones, in order to get through the considerable back-log of vulnerabilities that need further work. This task is daunting, but will not only help retain valuable historical vulnerability information, but will also allow OSVDB to generate meaningful statistics for past and current years.

We have had a great year, and are looking forward to another one! We are of course still seeking assistance to help keep OSVDB successful–the project has many ideas in need of financial and volunteer support to implement. For more information on supporting OSVDB through volunteering or sponsorship, please contact moderators@osvdb.org.

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