5.5. Severity and Impact Rating of JBoss Security Patches

To communicate the risk of each JBoss security flaw, Red Hat uses a four-point severity scale of low, moderate, important and critical, in addition to Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) version 2 base scores which can be used to identify the impact of the flaw.

Table 5.1. Severity Ratings of JBoss Security Patches

Severity Description
This rating is given to flaws that could be easily exploited by a remote unauthenticated attacker and lead to system compromise (arbitrary code execution) without requiring user interaction. These are the types of vulnerabilities that can be exploited by worms. Flaws that require an authenticated remote user, a local user, or an unlikely configuration are not classed as critical impact.
This rating is given to flaws that can easily compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of resources. These are the types of vulnerabilities that allow local users to gain privileges, allow unauthenticated remote users to view resources that should otherwise be protected by authentication, allow authenticated remote users to execute arbitrary code, or allow local or remote users to cause a denial of service.
This rating is given to flaws that may be more difficult to exploit but could still lead to some compromise of the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of resources, under certain circumstances. These are the types of vulnerabilities that could have had a critical impact or important impact but are less easily exploited based on a technical evaluation of the flaw, or affect unlikely configurations.
This rating is given to all other issues that have a security impact. These are the types of vulnerabilities that are believed to require unlikely circumstances to be able to be exploited, or where a successful exploit would give minimal consequences.
The impact component of a CVSS v2 score is based on a combined assessment of three potential impacts: Confidentiality (C), Integrity (I) and Availability (A). Each of these can be rated as None (N), Partial (P) or Complete (C).
Because the JBoss server process runs as an unprivileged user and is isolated from the host operating system, JBoss security flaws are only rated as having impacts of either None (N) or Partial (P).

Example 5.1. CVSS v2 Impact Score

The example below shows a CVSS v2 impact score, where exploiting the flaw would have no impact on system confidentiality, partial impact on system integrity and complete impact on system availability (that is, the system would become completely unavailable for any use, for example, via a kernel crash).
Combined with the severity rating and the CVSS score, organizations can make informed decisions on the risk each issue places on their unique environment and schedule upgrades accordingly.
For more information about CVSS2, please see: CVSS2 Guide.