Vulnerability disclosure policy
This is a copy of the vulnerability disclosure policy for 18F and the Technology Transformation Service (TTS). The official document lives in GitHub. If you would like to comment or suggest a change to the policy, please open a GitHub issue.
Vulnerability disclosure policy
As part of a U.S. government agency, the General Services Administration (GSA)’s Technology Transformation Service (TTS) takes seriously our responsibility to protect the public’s information, including financial and personal information, from unwarranted disclosure.
We want security researchers to feel comfortable reporting vulnerabilities they’ve discovered, as set out in this policy, so that we can fix them and keep our information safe.
This policy describes what systems and types of research are covered under this policy, how to send us vulnerability reports, and how long we ask security researchers to wait before publicly disclosing vulnerabilities.
We require that you:
Make every effort to avoid privacy violations, degradation of user experience, disruption to production systems, and destruction or manipulation of data.
Only use exploits to the extent necessary to confirm a vulnerability. Do not use an exploit to compromise or exfiltrate data, establish command line access and/or persistence, or use the exploit to “pivot” to other systems. Once you’ve established that a vulnerability exists, or encountered any of the sensitive data outlined below, you must stop your test and notify us immediately.
Keep confidential any information about discovered vulnerabilities for up to 90 calendar days after you have notified TTS. For details, please review Coordinated Disclosure.
This policy applies to the following systems:
cloud.govand the following subdomains:
metrics.fr.cloud.gov. Any other subdomain of cloud.gov and all customer applications are excluded from this policy (
*.app.cloud.govis specifically excluded, except for
login.govand the following subdomains:
www.login.gov. Any other subdomain of login.gov is excluded from this policy.
data.govand the following subdomains:
manage.data.gov. Any other subdomains of data.gov are excluded from this policy (
api.data.govis specifically excluded).
Any services not expressly listed above, such as any connected services, are excluded from scope and are not authorized for testing. Additionally, vulnerabilities found in non-federal systems from our vendors fall outside of this policy’s scope and should be reported directly to the vendor according to their disclosure policy (if any). If you aren’t sure whether a system or endpoint is in scope or not, contact us at
email@example.com before starting your research.
A subset of these systems may be eligible for bounties. Check our program page on HackerOne for the current list of bounty-eligible systems.
The following test types are not authorized:
- User interface bugs or typos.
- Network denial of service (DoS or DDoS) tests.
- Physical testing (e.g. office access, open doors, tailgating), social engineering (e.g. phishing, vishing), or any other non-technical vulnerability testing.
If you encounter any of the below on our systems while testing within the scope of this policy, stop your test and notify us immediately:
- Personally identifiable information
- Financial information (e.g. credit card or bank account numbers)
- Proprietary information or trade secrets of companies of any party
If you make a good faith effort to comply with this policy during your security research, we will consider your research to be authorized, will work with you to understand and resolve the issue quickly, and GSA will not initiate or recommend legal action related to your research.
Reporting a vulnerability
We accept and discuss vulnerability reports on HackerOne, or via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or through this reporting form. (GSA uses Google Apps internally, so either contact method will go into the same system.) Reports may be submitted anonymously. Note: We do not support PGP-encrypted emails. For particularly sensitive information, use the HackerOne or the TLS-encrypted web form.
We prefer reports via HackerOne, but will respond to reports through any of the above channels. Note, however, that only reports submitted via HackerOne will be eligible for bounties, where applicable.
Reports should include:
- Description of the location and potential impact of the vulnerability.
- A detailed description of the steps required to reproduce the vulnerability. Proof of concept (POC) scripts, screenshots, and screen captures are all helpful. Please use extreme care to properly label and protect any exploit code.
- Any technical information and related materials we would need to reproduce the issue.
Please keep your vulnerability reports current by sending us any new information as it becomes available.
We may share your vulnerability reports with US-CERT, as well as any affected vendors or open source projects.
TTS is committed to patching vulnerabilities within 90 days or less, and disclosing the details of those vulnerabilites when patches are published. We believe that public disclosure of vulnerabilities is an essential part of the vulnerability disclosure process, and that one of the best ways to make software better is to enable everyone to learn from each other’s mistakes.
At the same time, we believe that disclosure in absence of a readily available patch tends to increase risk rather than reduce it, and so we ask that you refrain from sharing your report with others while we work on our patch. If you believe there are others that should be informed of your report before the patch is available, please let us know so we can make arrangements.
We may want to coordinate an advisory with you to be published simultaneously with the patch, but you are also welcome to self-disclose if you prefer. By default, we prefer to disclose everything, but we will never publish information about you or our communications with you without your permission. In some cases, we may also have some sensitive information that should be redacted, and so please check with us before self-disclosing.