Seems like every time I talk to someone or do research on Software Bill of Materials, I encounter VEX - Vulnerability Exploitability eXchange - and I never really understood what they were used for.
I knew they had something to do with understanding the vulnerabilities that exist inside the components we list inside of an SBOM, but why does the format or concept exist? After all, we already have ways of exchanging vulnerability information like Bill of Vulnerabilities or Vulnerability Disclosure reports, right?
Well, VEX represents an approach to sharing vulnerability information as well. As well as being a concept, it offers a format specifically designed to describe the exploitability of a vulnerability. It encompasses crucial details such as attack vectors, exploit complexity, and the impact of a vulnerability.
Well, just because you have a component with the vulnerability, doesn't mean that the application itself is affected. It's quite possible that the component only has one vulnerable method - and it may not even be used by your application.
Understanding this context around vulnerability enables security practitioners, researchers, and vendors to assess and prioritize the remediation efforts more effectively.
In this episode, I'll be talking once again to Steve Springett from the CycloneDX project and we'll be diving into the topic of Vulnerability Exploitability eXchange.
We'll gain a deeper understanding of how VEX fits into the broader landscape of information exchange and Software Bill of Materials, and how it contributes to our collective efforts in building safer and more resilient software systems.
Welcome back, to daBOM