CVE Binary Tool Release Notes

CVE Binary Tool 3.2

New features from our GSoC 2022 participants:

  • @yashugarg added a large number of tests and work on fuzzing our interfaces

  • @rhythmrx9 added new data sources (we now support advisories from Gitlab, OSV and Redhat as well as NVD)

  • @XDRAGON2002 for the new parsers that allow us to scan things like Ruby Gemfiles, Rust cargo files, and more.

Other interesting features in this release:

  • @ffontaine has added a large number of new checkers, pushing us well over 200 binary checkers.

  • @anthonyharrison has added initial support for NVD API 2.0. Note that at the time this was added the 2.0 version didn’t work with their API keys, so the code behaves accordingly.

Thanks also to @BreadGenie for code review and mentoring support as well as a number of contributions listed below. A special shout out to @b31ngd3v and @metabiswadeep whose first contributions are in this release but they’ve been the first of many, as well as the many other folk who got their first commits in via Hacktoberfest or GSoC or or however you found us. Thanks to everyone for being part of this release!

CVE Bin Tool pre-release 3.2rc0

Preview release for 3.2.

We’re currently seeing an issue in our testing system where Windows systems are taking a long time to upgrade the database to store additional data source information. Windows users are particularly encouraged to try this pre-release to see if you have any issues!

When updating your database, make sure your NVD_API_KEY is set and you may have better results using -u now to get a fresh database.

CVE Binary Tool 3.1.2

Minor update to force a downgrade of packaging to allow use of LegacyVersion (fixes #2428)

This is intended to be a temporary fix while we finish up the 3.2 release, but I believe we will be able to backport the removal for LegacyVersion without much trouble, so there may be one more release for the 3.1 tree if it looks like 3.2 is going to take more than a week.

Full Changelog: v3.1.1...v3.1.2

CVE Binary Tool 3.1.1

Minor typo necessitated a version bump + new release.

CVE Binary Tool 3.1

This release is dedicated to the person who sent me cookies after I was griping about differences in Python 3.7 error handling on Twitter. They were delicious, thank you! Thanks also to the many new contributors who have joined us as part of Google Summer of Code 2022. You can see many new folk had their first commits in this release!

New Features

  • CVE Binary Tool 3.1 adds support for NVD API keys. An NVD API key allows registered users to make a greater number of requests to the API. At this time, the NVD API documentation says, “The public rate limit (without an API key) is 10 requests in a rolling 60 second window; the rate limit with an API key is 100 requests in a rolling 60 second window.”

    • cve-bin-tool updates once per day by default to limit connections to NVD, but users in shared environments or running more frequent updates have occasionally seen 403 errors due to exceeded rate limits. Using an API key should alleviate those issues going forwards.

  • New support for scanning Java and JavaScript packages has been added. (Yes, this will now detect log4j packages.) The language-specific packages we support now are Java, JavaScript and Python.

  • A new offline flag (--offline) has been added to disable all network requests for use in isolated environments. A guide for using –offline mode can be found here.

  • New support VEX (Vulnerabity Exploitablity Exchange) files. Files could be generated following a scan and then used as a supported triage file.

  • Extractor support has been extended to include WAR, EAR, pkg and zst files.

  • New checkers: Libsrtp, libseccomp, libebml, libsolv

Changed Features

  • Some users had expressed concern that they would prefer not to install the Reportlab dependency on their systems due to security concerns if the library is mis-used, so we no longer install it by default.

    • Users intending to use PDF export can use pip install cve-bin-tool[PDF] to add reportlab to their install. or pip install reportlab if they decide they want it later.

    • Similarly, users can pip uninstall reportlab at any time and cve-bin-tool will continue to function although without the ability to export PDF files. Users can generate their own using pdf reports using print-to-pdf on an HTML report if needed.

  • Python 3.6 support and testing has been dropped as Python 3.6 has reached end of life. (This may affect some users on CentOS.)

CVE Binary Tool 3.1rc3

Full Changelog: v3.1rc2…v3.1rc3

CVE Binary Tool 3.1rc2

Potentially the final release candidate for CVE Binary Tool 3.1. (Note the change in naming scheme to match the pip upload)

CVE Binary Tool 3.1.pre1

Second pre-release. This one has all features expected for release and will undergo some additional validation before final release.

CVE Binary Tool 3.1.pre0

Pre-release for what will eventually be 3.1. There are a few PRs still in progress, and you can see what remains to be updated in the 3.1 milestone. The release notes below are auto-generated by GitHub.

CVE Binary Tool 3.0

The CVE Binary Tool 3.0 release includes improved tools for checking known lists of packages including Linux distributions, improved methods of communication with NVD to get vulnerability data, additional checkers, and significant refactoring to streamline the output.

New feature highlights:

  • SBOM Scanning: CVE Binary Tool can now take Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) files to help users improve their supply chain security data for all known dependencies. The initial feature can handle some versions of SPDX, CycloneDX and SWID formats. More information on SBOM scanning can be found here:

  • Known vulnerability information: Users scanning some linux distro packages can now get additional information about fixes available for those platforms.

  • Vulnerability Data: The default method for getting NVD vulnerability lists has been changed. Previously we downloaded full yearly JSON files if anything in the year had changed, the new API allows us to get only the latest changes. Users may see a speedup during the update phase as a result.

  • (Breaking change) Return codes: The return codes used by CVE Binary Tool have changed.

    • A 0 will be returned if no CVEs are found, a 1 will be returned if any CVEs were found (no matter how many), and codes 2+ indicate operational errors. A full list of error codes is available here:

    • Previously we returned the number of CVEs found, but this could exceed the expected range for return codes and cause unexpected behaviour.

Thanks especially to our 2021 GSoC students, @BreadGenie, @imsahil007 and @peb-peb whose final GSoC contributions are part of this release.

A full list of changes is available in GitHub.

Commit messages use the Conventional Commits format.

CVE Binary Tool 2.2.1

Release date: 04 Aug 2021

The 2.2.1 release relaxes the behaviour when file extraction fails, which was causing problems for some users scanning files with .exe and .apk file extensions using the previous release. In 2.2 all extraction fails caused the tool to halt and throw an exception, in 2.2.1 the tool will log a warning and continue.

CVE Binary Tool 2.2

Release date: 08 Jul 2021

The 2.2 release contains a number of bugfixes and improvements thanks to the many students who contributed as part of our Google Summer of Code selection process. Congratulations to @BreadGenie, @imsahil007 and @peb-peb who will be continuing to work with us for the next few months!

New feature highlights:

  • CVE Binary Tool can now be used to get lists of vulnerabilities affecting a python requirements.txt file, as well as lists of packages installed on .deb or .rpm based systems (Thanks to @BreadGenie)

  • Scan reports can now be merged (Thanks to @imsahil007)

  • Reports can now be generated in PDF format (Thanks to @anthonyharrison)

  • A new helper script is available to help new contributors find appropriate patterns for new checkers (Thanks to @peb-peb)

  • Reports can now be generated even if no CVEs are found (Thanks to @BreadGenie)

  • We’ve added rate limiting for our NVD requests (Thanks to @nisamson, @param211, @bhargavh)

There are also a number of new checkers and bug fixes.

Thanks also to @jerinjtitus, @Molkree, @alt-glitch, @CabTheProgrammer, @Romi-776, @chaitanyamogal, @Rahul2044, @utkarsh147-del , @SinghHrmn, @SaurabhK122, @pdxjohnny and @terriko for their contributions to this release.

CVE Binary Tool 2.1.post1

Release date: 27 Apr 2021

Rate limiting temporary fix in response to NVD API update

CVE Binary Tool 2.1

Release date: 07 Dec 2020

This release fixes an issue with jinja2 autoescape breaking the HTML reports and includes some updates to tests.

CVE Binary Tool 2.0

Release date: 12 Nov 2020

This release features code from our three successful Google Summer of Code students!

  • @SinghHrmn made improvements to our output formats, including adding a new HTML human-readable report format. You can try out a demo at

  • @Niraj-Kamdar improved the performance of cve-bin-tool and its tests, provided significant code modernization and added input modes so you can now add and re-use triage data with your scans.

  • @SaurabhK122 added a huge number of new checkers to the tool, both in this release and the previous one.

Thanks also to the mentors who worked with our students this year: @terriko, @pdxjohnny, @meflin, @mdwood-intel and unofficial mentor @anthonyharrison who helped us considerably with real-world feedback.

This release also includes contributions from the following new contributors:

  • @anthonyharrison

  • @imsahil007

  • @chaitanyamogal

  • @Rahul2044

  • @Wicked7000

  • @willmcgugan

  • @kritirikhi

  • @sakshatshinde

CVE Binary Tool 1.1.1

Release Date: 9 Nov 2020

This point release includes fixes so documentation will build and display correctly on readthedocs. There are no functional changes to the code.

CVE Binary Tool 2.0 alpha release

Release Date: 29 Oct 2020

This is an alpha release for people interested in trying out an early preview of 2.0. Major features include performance improvements, triage options, new output modes, and many new checkers thanks to our Google Summer of Code students @Niraj-Kamdar, @SinghHrmn and @SaurabhK122 . Thanks for an incredibly productive summer!

We are expecting to make some documentation improvements before the final release, which we hope to have out next week.

CVE Binary Tool 1.1

Release Date: 29 Oct 2020

This is an alpha release for people interested in trying out an early preview of 2.0. Major features include performance improvements, triage options, new output modes, and many new checkers thanks to our Google Summer of Code students @Niraj-Kamdar, @SinghHrmn and @SaurabhK122 . Thanks for an incredibly productive summer!

We are expecting to make some documentation improvements before the final release, which we hope to have out next week.

CVE Binary Tool 1.0

Release Date: 20 Apr 2020

This release includes major improvements to the way NVD data is used and stored. If you have tried the development tree from GitHub, you may wish to run cve-bin-tool -u now after you upgrade to remove old data.

There are now three output formats:

  • Console (like before only prettier)

  • CSV (comma-delimited text, suitable for import into spreadsheets)

  • JSON (suitable for machine parsing)

And 17 new checkers (as well as improved tests for some of the old):

  • binutils

  • bluez

  • bzip2

  • ffmpeg

  • gnutls

  • gstreamer

  • hostapd

  • libcurl

  • libdb

  • ncurses

  • nginx

  • openssh

  • python

  • rsyslog

  • strongswan

  • syslogng

  • varnish

Thanks to our many new and returning contributors for this 1.0 release. We have 21 new contributors since I last thanked people in 0.3.0:

  • @abhaykatheria

  • @ableabhinav

  • @AkechiShiro

  • @ananthan-123

  • @bigbird555

  • @brainwane

  • @FReeshabh

  • @hur

  • @k-udupa2000

  • @mariuszskon

  • @Niraj-Kamdar

  • @nitishsaini706

  • @oh6hay

  • @param211

  • @Purvanshsingh

  • @SaurabhK122

  • @sbs2001

  • @shreyamalviya

  • @SinghHrmn

  • @svnv

  • @utkarsh261

And I’d like to make a quick list of our previous contributors, some of whom have continued to be active for this release:

  • @bksahu

  • @CaptainDaVinci

  • @GiridharPrasath

  • @pdxjohnny

  • @PrajwalM2212

  • @rossburton

  • @sanketsaurav

  • @sannanansari

  • @terriko

  • @wzao1515

Thanks also to the many people who reported bugs and helped us make things better!

I want to particularly thank all those involved with Google Summer of Code – not only have you made our code better, but you’ve also helped us improve our onboarding process and just brought a huge amount of energy to this project in 2020.

CVE Binary Tool 0.3.1

Release Date: 27 Nov 2019

This release contains fixes so the CVE Binary Tool handles the new CVSS 3.1 data correctly.

You may also notice some new checkers thanks to our Hacktoberfest participants! We’re still working on more robust tests before they’re fully supported, but we figured it was more fun to give you the preview than specifically withhold them. Have fun, and please file bugs if anything doesn’t work for you so we know how to best to target our testing.

CVE Binary Tool 0.3.0

Release date: 13 Aug 2019

The 0.3.0 release adds Windows support to the cve-bin-tool, with many thanks to @wzao1515 who has been doing amazing work as our Google Summer of Code Student!

New checkers in this release:

  • icu

  • kerberos

  • libgcrypt

  • libjpeg

  • sqlite

  • systemd

New flags:

  • -s / –skip

    • allows you to disable a list of checkers

  • -m / –multithread

    • lets the scanner run in multithreaded mode for improved performance

  • -u / –update

    • allows you to choose if the CVE information is updated. Default is daily.

This release also contains a number of bugfixes and improved signatures.

Many thanks to our new contributors in this release: @wzao1515 @PrajwalM2212 @rossburton @GiridharPrasath @sannanansari @sanketsaurav @bksahu @CaptainDaVinci As well as the many people who reported bugs and helped us make things better!

CVE Binary Tool 0.2.0

Initial release, 18 Jan 2019.