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What is a CVSS?

The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is "an open framework for communicating the characteristics and severity of software vulnerabilities."

Put simpler, CVSS is the term used for scoring (0-10) and rating ('none' to 'critical') the severity of vulnerabilities that have been assigned a CVE ID (image below). Scores are calculated "based on a formula that depends on several metrics that approximate ease of exploit and the impact of exploit." CVSS is free to all and acts as the severity-scoring system 'standard' used by, among others, industries, organizations, and governments around the world.

The SecAlerts 'CVE List' uses scores from the most recent CVSS version (3.1), although some services such as the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) show two scores - versions 3.0 and 2.0 - with each vulnerability.

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