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This tool scans for a number of common, vulnerable components (openssl, libpng, libxml2, expat and a few others) to let you know if your system includes common libraries with known vulnerabilities.

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* fixes #1348 

Co-authored-by: Terri Oda <>
Co-authored-by: Dmitry Volodin <>

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CVE Binary Tool quick start / README

Build Status codecov Gitter On ReadTheDocs On PyPI Code style: black Imports: isort

The CVE Binary Tool scans for a number of common, vulnerable open source components such as openssl, libpng, libxml2, and expat to let you know if a given directory or binary file includes common libraries with known vulnerabilities., known as CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures).

See our documentation and quickstart guide
Usage: cve-bin-tool <directory/file to scan>

You can also do python -m cve_bin_tool.cli which is useful if you're trying the latest code from the cve-bin-tool github.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -e, --exclude         exclude path while scanning
  -V, --version         show program's version number and exit
                        skips checking for a new version

CVE Data Download:
  -n {json,api}, --nvd {json,api}
                        choose method for getting CVE lists from NVD
  -u {now,daily,never,latest}, --update {now,daily,never,latest}
                        update schedule for NVD database (default: daily)

  directory             directory to scan
  -i INPUT_FILE, --input-file INPUT_FILE
                        provide input filename
  -C CONFIG, --config CONFIG
                        provide config file
  -L PACKAGE_LIST, --package-list PACKAGE_LIST
                    provide package list

  -q, --quiet           suppress output
  -l {debug,info,warning,error,critical}, --log {debug,info,warning,error,critical}
                        log level (default: info)
  -o OUTPUT_FILE, --output-file OUTPUT_FILE
                        provide output filename (default: output to stdout)  
  --html-theme HTML_THEME
                        provide custom theme directory for HTML Report
  -f {csv,json,console,html,pdf}, --format {csv,json,console,html,pdf}
                        update output format (default: console)
  -c CVSS, --cvss CVSS  minimum CVSS score (as integer in range 0 to 10) to
                        report (default: 0)
  -S {low,medium,high,critical}, --severity {low,medium,high,critical}
                        minimum CVE severity to report (default: low)
  --report              Produces a report even if there are no CVE for the
                        respective output format
  --affected-versions   Lists versions of product affected by a given CVE (to facilitate upgrades)
  -b [<distro_name>-<distro_version_name>], --backport-fix [<distro_name>-<distro_version_name>]
                        Lists backported fixes if available from Linux distribution

Merge Report:
                        provide path for saving intermediate report 
  -t TAG, --tag TAG     provide a tag to differentiate between multiple intermediate reports
                        comma separated intermediate reports path for merging
  -F TAGS, --filter TAGS           
                        comma separated tags to filter out intermediate reports

  -s SKIPS, --skips SKIPS
                        comma-separated list of checkers to disable
  -r RUNS, --runs RUNS  comma-separated list of checkers to enable

   -x, --extract        autoextract compressed files
   CVE Binary Tool autoextracts all compressed files by default now

Note that if the CVSS and Severity flags are both specified, the CVSS flag takes precedence.

--input-file extends the functionality of csv2cve for other formats like JSON. It also allows cve-bin-tool to specify triage data so you can group issues which may have been mitigated (through patches, configuration, or other methods not detectable by our version scanning method) or mark false positives. Triage data can be re-used and applied to multiple scans. You can provide either CSV or JSON file as input_file with vendor, product and version fields. You can also add optional fields like remarks, comments, cve_number, severity.

Note that you can use -i or --input-file option to produce list of CVEs found in given vendor, product and version fields (Usage: cve-bin-tool -i=test.csv) or supplement extra triage data like remarks, comments etc. while scanning directory so that output will reflect this triage data and you can save time of re-triaging (Usage: cve-bin-tool -i=test.csv /path/to/scan).

-n or --nvd allows you to use between the default json which fetches the yearly JSON feeds or you can use the NVD REST-based CVE Retrieval Interface using api

You can also use -m or --merge along with -f --format and -o --output-file to generate output from intermediate reports in different formats. Use -F --filter along with -m --mergeto filter out intermediate reports based on tag.

Note: For backward compatibility, we still support csv2cve command for producing CVEs from csv but we recommend using new --input-file command instead.

-L or --package-list option runs a CVE scan on installed packages listed in a package list. It takes a python package list (requirements.txt) or a package list of packages of systems that has dpkg, pacman or rpm package manager as an input for the scan. This option is much faster and detects more CVEs than the default method of scanning binaries.

You can get a package list of all installed packages in

  • a system using dpkg package manager by running dpkg-query -W -f '${binary:Package}\n' > pkg-list
  • a system using pacman package manager by running pacman -Qqe > pkg-list
  • a system using rpm package manager by running rpm -qa --queryformat '%{NAME}\n' > pkg-list

in the terminal and provide it as an input by running cve-bin-tool -L pkg-list for a full package scan.

You can use --config option to provide configuration file for the tool. You can still override options specified in config file with command line arguments. See our sample config files in the test/config

The 0.3.1 release is intended to be the last release to officially support python 2.7; please switch to python 3.6+ for future releases and to use the development tree. You can check our CI configuration to see what versions of python we're explicitly testing.

If you want to integrate cve-bin-tool as a part of your github action pipeline. You can checkout our example github action.

This readme is intended to be a quickstart guide for using the tool. If you require more information, there is also a user manual available.

How it works

This scanner looks at the strings found in binary files to see if they match certain vulnerable versions of the following libraries and tools:

Available checkers
accountsservice avahi bash bind binutils bolt bubblewrap
busybox bzip2 cronie cryptsetup cups curl dbus
dnsmasq dovecot dpkg enscript expat ffmpeg freeradius
ftp gcc gimp glibc gnomeshell gnupg gnutls
gpgme gstreamer gupnp haproxy hdf5 hostapd hunspell
icecast icu irssi kbd kerberos kexectools libarchive
libbpg libdb libgcrypt libical libjpeg_turbo liblas libnss
libsndfile libsoup libssh2 libtiff libvirt libvncserver libxslt
lighttpd logrotate lua mariadb mdadm memcached mtr
mysql nano ncurses nessus netpbm nginx node
ntp open_vm_tools openafs openjpeg openldap openssh openssl
openswan openvpn p7zip pcsc_lite pigz png polarssl_fedora
poppler postgresql pspp python qt radare2 rsyslog
samba sane_backends sqlite strongswan subversion sudo syslogng
systemd tcpdump trousers varnish webkitgtk wireshark wpa_supplicant
xerces xml2 zlib zsh

All the checkers can be found in the checkers directory, as can the instructions on how to add a new checker. Support for new checkers can be requested via GitHub issues.


This scanner does not attempt to exploit issues or examine the code in greater detail; it only looks for library signatures and version numbers. As such, it cannot tell if someone has backported fixes to a vulnerable version, and it will not work if library or version information was intentionally obfuscated.

This tool is meant to be used as a quick-to-run, easily-automatable check in a non-malicious environment so that developers can be made aware of old libraries with security issues that have been compiled into their binaries.


To use the auto-extractor, you may need the following utilities depending on the type of file you need to extract. The utilities below are required to run the full test suite on Linux:

  • file
  • strings
  • tar
  • unzip
  • rpm2cpio
  • cpio
  • ar
  • cabextract

Most of these are installed by default on many Linux systems, but cabextract and rpm2cpio in particular might need to be installed.

On windows systems, you may need:

  • ar
  • 7z
  • Expand

Windows has ar and Expand installed in default, but 7z in particular might need to be installed. If you want to run our test-suite or scan a zstd compressed file, We recommend installing this 7-zip-zstd fork of 7zip. We are currently using 7z for extracting jar, apk, msi, exe and rpm files.

If you get an error about building libraries when you try to install from pip, you may need to install the Windows build tools. The Windows build tools are available for free from

If you get an error while installing brotlipy on Windows, installing the compiler above should fix it.

Feedback & Contributions

Bugs and feature requests can be made via GitHub issues. Be aware that these issues are not private, so take care when providing output to make sure you are not disclosing security issues in other products.

Pull requests are also welcome via git.

The CVE Binary Tool uses the Black python code formatter and isort to keep coding style consistent; you may wish to have it installed to make pull requests easier. We've provided a pre-commit hook (in .pre-commit.config.yaml) so if you want to have the check run locally before you commit, you can install pre-commit and install the hook as follows from the main cve-bin-tool directory:

pip install pre-commit
pre-commit install

Security Issues

Security issues with the tool itself can be reported to Intel's security incident response team via

If in the course of using this tool you discover a security issue with someone else's code, please disclose responsibly to the appropriate party.


This tool scans for a number of common, vulnerable components (openssl, libpng, libxml2, expat and a few others) to let you know if your system includes common libraries with known vulnerabilities.





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