Severity Levels for Security Issues
Atlassian security advisories include a severity level. This severity level is based on our self-calculated CVSS score for each specific vulnerability. CVSS is an industry standard vulnerability metric. You can learn more about CVSS at FIRST.org.
For CVSS v3 Atlassian uses the following severity rating system:
CVSS V3 SCORE RANGE
SEVERITY IN ADVISORY
0.1 - 3.9
4.0 - 6.9
7.0 - 8.9
9.0 - 10.0
In some cases, Atlassian may use additional factors unrelated to CVSS score to determine the severity level of a vulnerability. This approach is supported by the CVSS v3.1 specification:
Consumers may use CVSS information as input to an organizational vulnerability management process that also considers factors that are not part of CVSS in order to rank the threats to their technology infrastructure and make informed remediation decisions. Such factors may include: number of customers on a product line, monetary losses due to a breach, life or property threatened, or public sentiment on highly publicized vulnerabilities. These are outside the scope of CVSS.
In cases where Atlassian takes this approach, we will describe which additional factors have been considered and why when publicly disclosing the vulnerability.
Below are a few examples of vulnerabilities which may result in a given severity level. Please keep in mind that this rating does not take into account details of your installation and are to be used as a guide only.
Severity Level: Critical
Vulnerabilities that score in the critical range usually have most of the following characteristics:
- Exploitation of the vulnerability likely results in root-level compromise of servers or infrastructure devices.
- Exploitation is usually straightforward, in the sense that the attacker does not need any special authentication credentials or knowledge about individual victims, and does not need to persuade a target user, for example via social engineering, into performing any special functions.
For critical vulnerabilities, is advised that you patch or upgrade as soon as possible, unless you have other mitigating measures in place. For example, a mitigating factor could be if your installation is not accessible from the Internet.
Severity Level: High
Vulnerabilities that score in the high range usually have some of the following characteristics:
- The vulnerability is difficult to exploit.
- Exploitation could result in elevated privileges.
- Exploitation could result in a significant data loss or downtime.
Severity Level: Medium
Vulnerabilities that score in the medium range usually have some of the following characteristics:
- Vulnerabilities that require the attacker to manipulate individual victims via social engineering tactics.
- Denial of service vulnerabilities that are difficult to set up.
- Exploits that require an attacker to reside on the same local network as the victim.
- Vulnerabilities where exploitation provides only very limited access.
- Vulnerabilities that require user privileges for successful exploitation.
Severity Level: Low
Vulnerabilities in the low range typically have very little impact on an organization's business. Exploitation of such vulnerabilities usually requires local or physical system access. Vulnerabilities in third party code that are unreachable from Atlassian code may be downgraded to low severity.