Common Vulnerability Scoring System: Final Report and Recommendations (October 12, 2004) [open pdf - 207KB]
"Over the past several years, a number of large computer security vendors and not-for-profit organizations have developed, promoted, and implemented procedures to rank information system vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, there has been no cohesion or interoperability among these systems. Also, existing systems tend to be limited in scope as to what they cover. Finally, all of these systems tend to be Internet-centric; that is, they tend to be concerned only with vulnerabilities affecting computers connected to the worldwide Internet. The NIAC commissioned this project to propose an open and universal vulnerability scoring system to address and solve these shortcomings, with the ultimate goal of promoting a common understanding of vulnerabilities and their impact."
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Infrastructure Advisory Council: http://www.dhs.gov/xprevprot/committees/editorial_0353.shtm