CVE-Search makes use of multiple databases, these are:

  • MongoDB

  • Redis


The MongoDB database is (by default) called cvedb and has 11 collections:

  • cves (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure items) - source NVD NIST (JSON)

  • cpe (Common Platform Enumeration items) - source NVD NIST

  • cwe (Common Weakness Enumeration items) - source NVD NIST

  • capec (Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification) - source NVD NIST

  • ranking (ranking rules per group) - local cve-search

  • MITRE Reference Key/Maps - source MITRE reference Key/Maps

  • info (metadata of each collection like last-modified) - local cve-search

  • via4 VIA4CVE cross-references, and has 3 additional sources:

The initial setup of CVE-Search happens only once, at the installation. This consists of two steps and one optional step.

  • Populating the database

  • Optional: You can also run the “Other CPE Dictionary” script to help fill in the blanks

  • Updating the database

Connecting to MongoDB

MongoDB has two possible syntax for connecting to the database.

  • mongodb:// - Default

  • mongodb+srv://

The default syntax allows for connectivity to a single host or a replica set. The SRV syntax allows for connecting using a single DNS hostname which seeds multiple hosts in a replica set. The SRV DNS record contains all of the details required for connecting to any server contained in a replia set, even if one of the nodes is unavailable.

To enable the SRV scheme, set the variable DnsSrvRecord to True in the configuration.ini file. For more information, read MongoDB 3.6: Here to SRV you with easier replica set connections <>.

Note: MongoDB Atlas requires the use of the SRV syntax.

Database User Authentication

When passing a username and password, CVE-Search submits the values against the default admin database. If the authentication information is stored in a database other than admin, authentication attempts will fail.

To change the default authentiation database, set the variable AuthDB in the configuration.ini file.

Populating the database

For the initial run, you need to populate the CVE database by running:

./sbin/ -p
./sbin/ -p
./sbin/ -c # This will take >45minutes on a decent machine, please be patient

It will fetch all the existing JSON files from the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures feed and the Common Platform Enumeration. The initial Common Platform Enumeration (CPE) import might take some time depending on your configuration.

If you want to add the cross-references from NIST, Red Hat and other vendors thanks to VIA4CVE:


NB: If you want to import your own JSON from VIA4CVE, you have to replace URL in sources.ini the VIA4 attribute with file:///PATH/TO/VIA4CVE/VIA4CVE-feed.json.

Updating the database

An updater script helps to start the db_mgmt_*

./sbin/ -v

You can run it in a crontab, logging is done in log/update_populate.log by default.

Repopulating the database

To easily drop and re-populate all the databases

./sbin/ -v -f

This will drop all the existing external sources and reimport everything. This operation can take some time and it’s usually only required when new attributes parsing are added in cve-search.


4 Redis databases are used:

  • Database number 9: Functions as a queue during populating and updating the MongoDB

  • Database number 10: The cpe (Common Platform Enumeration) cache - source MongoDB cvedb collection cpe

  • Database number 11: The notification database - source cve-search

  • Database number 12: The CVE reference database is a cross-reference database to CVE IDs against various vendors ID - source NVD NIST/MITRE

Populating the database

Depending on the switches that are appended to the ./sbin/ command, the redis database will be populated. Check the help of that specific script for further details.