Vulnerability Disclosure Policy

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
November 16, 2022

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the "Board") is committed to maintaining the security of our systems and protecting sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure. This policy describes what systems and types of security 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 encourage security researchers to contact us to report potential vulnerabilities identified in Board systems. For reports submitted in compliance with this policy, the Board will acknowledge receipt within three (3) business days, endeavor to timely validate submissions, implement corrective actions, if appropriate, and inform researchers of the disposition of reported vulnerabilities.

If you make a good faith effort to comply with this policy during your security research, we will consider your research to be authorized, we will work with you to understand and resolve the issue quickly, and the Board will not recommend or pursue legal action related to your research. Should legal action be initiated by a third party against you for activities that were conducted in accordance with this policy, we will make this authorization known.

Under this policy, "research" means activities in which you:

  • Notify us as soon as possible after you discover a real or potential security issue.
  • 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's presence. 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.
  • Provide us a reasonable amount of time to resolve the issue before you disclose it publicly.
  • Do not submit a high volume of low-quality reports.

Once you've established that a vulnerability exists or encounter any sensitive data (including personally identifiable information, financial information, or proprietary information or trade secrets of any party), you must stop your test, notify us immediately, and not disclose this data to anyone else.

Test Methods
Security researchers must not:

  • Test any system other than the systems set forth in the 'Scope' section below;
  • disclose vulnerability information, including any personally identifiable information, except as set forth in the 'Reporting a Vulnerability' and 'Disclosure' sections below;
  • engage in physical testing of facilities or resources;
  • engage in social engineering;
  • send unsolicited electronic mail to Board users, including, but not limited to, "phishing" messages;
  • execute or attempt to execute "Denial of Service" or "Resource Exhaustion" attacks;
  • introduce malicious software or code;
  • test in a manner which could degrade the operation of Board systems; or intentionally impair,
  • disrupt, or disable Board systems;
  • test third-party applications, websites, or services that integrate with or link to or from Board Systems;
  • delete, alter, share, retain, or destroy Board data, or render Board data inaccessible; or,
  • use an exploit to exfiltrate data, establish command line access, establish a persistent presence on Board systems, or "pivot" to other Board systems.

This policy applies to all FRB-managed systems and services that are accessible from the Internet. This includes the registered domain name Vulnerabilities found in non-federal systems operated by a vendor fall outside of this policy's scope and should be reported directly to the vendor according to the vendor's disclosure policy (if any). Though we may develop and maintain other internet-accessible systems or services, we ask that active research and testing only be conducted on the systems and services covered by the scope of this document. If there is a particular system not in scope that you merits testing, please contact us to discuss it first. We will increase the scope of this policy over time.

Reporting a Vulnerability
Reports are accepted via electronic mail in English, preferably, to [email protected]. Acceptable message formats are plaintext, rich text, and HTML. Reports should provide a detailed technical description of the steps required to reproduce the vulnerability, including a description of any tools needed to identify or exploit the vulnerability. Images, e.g., screen captures, and other documents may be attached to reports. It is helpful to give attachments illustrative names. Reports may include proof-of-concept code that demonstrates exploitation of the vulnerability. We request that any scripts or exploit code be embedded into nonexecutable file types. We can process all common file types, and also non-encrypted Zip file archives.

Researchers may submit reports anonymously. Or, researchers may provide contact information, and any preferred methods or times of day to communicate, as they see fit. We may contact researchers to clarify reported vulnerability information or other technical interchange. The Board prefers that vulnerability report messages be encrypted via Zix. We utilize opportunistic Transport Layer Security (TLS) for both incoming and outgoing electronic mail.

By submitting a report to the Board, researchers warrant that the report and any attachments do not violate the intellectual property rights of any third party and the submitter grants the Board a nonexclusive, royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual license to use, reproduce, create derivative works, and publish the report and any attachments. Further, researchers will not receive payment for submitting vulnerabilities and agree that by submitting vulnerabilities, researchers waive any claims to compensation.

When you choose to share your contact information with us, we commit to coordinating with you as openly and as quickly as possible.

  • Within three (3) business days, we will acknowledge that your report has been received.
  • To the best of our ability, we will confirm the existence of the vulnerability to you and be as transparent as possible about what steps we are taking during the remediation process, including on issues or challenges that may delay resolution.
  • We will maintain an open dialogue to discuss issues.

Information submitted under this policy will be used for defensive purposes only – to mitigate or remediate vulnerabilities. If your findings include newly discovered vulnerabilities that affect all users of a product or service and not solely the Board, we may share your report with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and other agency / committee counterparts, where it will be handled under their coordinated vulnerability disclosure process. We will not share your name or contact information without express permission.

The Board is committed to timely correction of vulnerabilities. However, we recognize that public disclosure of a vulnerability in absence of a readily available corrective action likely increases versus decreases risk. Accordingly, we require that you refrain from sharing information about discovered vulnerabilities for ninety (90) calendar days after you have received our acknowledgement of receipt of your report. If you believe others should be informed of the vulnerability prior to our implementation of corrective actions, we require that you coordinate in advance with us.

Questions regarding this policy may be sent to [email protected]. The Board encourages security researchers to contact us for clarification on any element of this policy. Please contact us prior to conducting research if you are unsure if a specific test method is inconsistent with or unaddressed by this policy. We also invite security researchers to contact us with suggestions for improving this policy.

Document change history

Version Date Description
1.0 02/17/2021 First issuance.
1.1 02/19/2021 Addition of to Scope
1.2 10/22/2021 Addition of and to Scope
1.3 10/05/2022 Addition of and to Scope
1.4 11/16/2022 Addition of to Scope
1.5 11/20/2023 Addition of blanket statement covering all Board sites
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Last Update: December 08, 2023