Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Common Advisory Security Framework (CSAF)?
The Common Security Advisory Framework (CSAF) is the definitive reference for the language which supports creation, update, and interoperable exchange of security advisories as structured information on products, vulnerabilities and the status of impact and remediation among interested parties. You can access the CSAF 2.0 standard here.

What problems are addressed by CSAF?
CSAF enable individuals and organizations to successfully disclose and consume security advisories in machine readable format. It also specifies the distribution and discovery of CSAF documents

Is CSAF a replacement for CVE?
No. CSAF is not a replacement for CVE. A CSAF document may include one or many security vulnerabilities that have been assigned a CVE. Not all vulnerabilities are assigned a CVE. CSAF also allows for any organization to be able to disclose or consume security vulnerabilities or responses that do not have an assigned CVE.

What is VEX and how is it supported in CSAF?
The Vulnerability Exploitability eXchange (VEX) allows a software supplier or other parties to assert the status of specific vulnerabilities in a particular product. CSAF supports VEX to allow suppliers and other parties to provide the status of the vulnerabilities that may affect a product. As stated in CISA's VEX Use Case documentation, VEX is a form of a security advisory, similar to those already issued by mature product security teams today. There are a few important improvements for the VEX model over ‘traditional’ security advisories. First, VEX documents are machine readable, built to support integration into existing and novel security management tools, as well as broader vulnerability tracking platforms. Second, VEX data can support more effective use of Software Bills of Materials (SBOM) data.

Is CSAF the replacement for CVRF?
Yes. CSAF is the replacement for the Common Vulnerability Reporting Framework (CVRF). It enhances the capabilities of CVRF including different profiles (e.g., CSAF Base, Informational Advisory, Incident Response, VEX, etc.). Each profile extends the base profile "CSAF Base" - directly or indirect through another profile from the standard - by making additional fields from the standard mandatory. A profile can always add, but never subtract nor overwrite requirements defined in the profile it extends. CSAF also provides several additional enhancements that were not supported in CVRF. In addition, CSAF uses JSON vs. XML (which was used in CVRF).


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