How to use intermediate reports

Let’s consider a case where multiple groups have done triage separately and want to merge their outputs in a single report. We can do this by saving scans in form of intermediate reports and merge them whenever required.

Create Intermediate reports

To create an intermediate report on a scan for path /home/code/backend/, you can use:

python -m cve_bin_tool.cli -a /home/reports/backend.json /home/code/backend/

Here we are saving the intermediate report in /home/reports/backend.json
Alternatively, you can just use the directory path omitting the filename. Example:

python -m cve_bin_tool.cli -a /home/reports/ -t frontend /home/code/frontend/

CVE-Binary Tool will generate a filename with the default naming convention which is: "append.YYYY-MM-DD.hh-mm-ss.json"

Note: You can also use -t --tag if you want to add a unique tag inside your intermediate report. By default it is empty and stored as "".

Intermediate report format

    "metadata": {
        "timestamp": "2021-06-17.00-00-30",
        "tag": "",
        "scanned_dir": "/home/code/backend",
        "products_with_cve": 139,
        "products_without_cve": 2,
        "total_files": 49
    "report": [
            "vendor": "gnu",
            "product": "gcc",
            "version": "9.0.1",
            "cve_number": "CVE-2019-15847",
            "severity": "HIGH",
            "score": "7.5",
            "cvss_version": "3",
            "paths": "/home/code/backend/glib.tar.gz,/home/code/backend/gcc.tar.gz",
            "remarks": "NewFound",
            "comments": ""

Adding triage information to a merge report

Merged reports can be used to store and/or share triage information about the vulnerabilities that have been found.

To add triage, you can open up the json file in a text editor or json editor of your choice to add any changes you need.

The “remarks” section allows 5 values:

  1. NewFound

  2. Unexplored

  3. Confirmed

  4. Mitigated

  5. Ignored

More details such as how a CVE was mitigated or why it can be ignored can be added into the “comments” section. Other fields such as severity and score can also be updated if necessary.

Merge intermediate reports

You can merge multiple intermediate reports created using -m --merge

python -m cve_bin_tool.cli -m /home/reports/

-m --merge takes a comma-separated string. So, you can also pass filename(s) directly:

python -m cve_bin_tool.cli -m /home/reports/backend.json,/home/reports/append.2021-06-17.00-00-30.json

If you want to save the output in some other format (By default, it is console). You can also use -f --format and -o --output-file while merging intermediate reports. For example, If you want to generate an HTML report:

python -m cve_bin_tool.cli -m /home/reports/ -f html -o /home/reports/merged_intermediate.html