CVE Binary Checker Tool

security, tools, CVE
pip install cve-bin-tool==0.3.1


CVE Binary Tool

Build Status codecov Gitter Code style: black On PyPI

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

Usage: cve-bin-tool <flags> <path to directory>

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

  -h, --help            show help message and exit

  Output options:
  -v, --verbose         details on found issues as script runs
  -q, --quiet           suppress output
  -l {debug,info,warning,error,critical}, --log {debug,info,warning,error,critical}
                        log level

  Functional options:
  -x, --extract         autoextract compressed files
  -s SKIPS, --skips SKIPS
                        comma-separated list of checkers to disable
  -m, --multithread     enable multithread
  -u {now,daily,never}, --update {now,daily,never}
                        update schedule for NVD database. Default is daily.

This release may be the last one to support python 2.7; please switch to python 3.

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:

  • curl
  • expat
  • icu
  • kerberos
  • libgcrypt
  • libjpeg
  • libnss
  • libpng
  • libtiff
  • node.js
  • openssl
  • sqlite
  • systemd
  • xerces
  • xml2
  • zlib

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. Belows are required to run the full test suite on linux:

  • ar
  • cabextract
  • cpio
  • rpm2cpio

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. (7z is used only for rpm extraction, which is used heavily in our test suite, but if you're not scanning rpm files on windows you may be able to do without.)


The CVE Binary Tool package also includes a tool called csv2cve which is a helper tool that allows you to search the local database for a list of known packages. This can be useful if the list of packages is known.

Usage: csv2cve <csv_file>

The CSV file must contain the following columns: vendor,package,version where the vendor and package names are exact matches to the strings in the National Vulnerability Database. You can read more about how to find the correct string in the checker documentation, and the csv2cve manual has more information on using this tool.

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 to keep coding style consistent; you may wish to have it installed to make pull requests easier.

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.