Vulnerability Disclosure Policy

Introduction

The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) takes seriously our responsibility to protect the public's information, including financial and personal information, from unwarranted disclosure.  This policy is intended to give security researchers clear guidelines for conducting vulnerability discovery activities and to convey preferences for how to submit discovered vulnerabilities to Treasury.


Security researchers should feel comfortable reporting vulnerabilities discovered, as defined in this policy, to afford Treasury the opportunity to remediate the findings for the purpose of ensuring confidentiality and keeping Treasury’s information safe.


This policy describes what systems and types of research are covered under this policy, how to send Treasury vulnerability reports, and how long Treasury asks security researchers to wait before publicly disclosing vulnerabilities.


Authorization

If you make a good faith effort to comply with this policy during your security research, Treasury will consider your research to be authorized, work with you to understand and resolve the issue quickly, and 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, Treasury will make this authorization known.


Scope

This policy applies to the systems and listed below:

  • www.MyMoney.gov

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 Treasury 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 webcomments@treasury.gov before starting your research.

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.
  • Brute force attacks against login interfaces
     

If you encounter any of the information listed below on Treasury systems while testing within the scope of this policy, immediately stop your test and notify us.  Disclosure of the following information may not be made to any third party:

  • Personally identifiable information (PII)
  • Financial information (e.g. credit card or bank account numbers)
  • Proprietary information or trade secrets of companies of any party


Guidelines

Security researchers shall:

  • 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 above, you must immediately stop your test and notify us.
  • Keep confidential any information about discovered vulnerabilities for up to 90 calendar days after you have notified Treasury.  For details, please review Coordinated Disclosure.
     

Treasury is committed to acknowledging receipt of the report within two business days.


Legal

You must comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws in connection with your security research activities or other participation in this vulnerability disclosure program.

Treasury does not authorize, permit, or otherwise allow (expressly or impliedly) any person, including any individual, group of individuals, consortium, partnership, or any other business or legal entity to engage in any security research or vulnerability or threat disclosure activity that is inconsistent with this policy or the law.  If you engage in any activities that are inconsistent with this policy or the law, you may be subject to criminal and/or civil liabilities.

To the extent that any security research or vulnerability disclosure activity involves the networks, systems, information, applications, products, or services of a non-Treasury entity (e.g., other Federal departments or agencies; State, local, or tribal governments; private sector companies or persons; employees or personnel of any such entities; or any other such third party), that non-Treasury third party may independently determine whether to pursue legal action or remedies related to such activities.

If you conduct your security research and vulnerability disclosure activities in accordance with the restrictions and guidelines set forth in this policy, (1) Treasury will not initiate or recommend any law enforcement or civil lawsuits related to such activities, and (2) in the event of any law enforcement or civil action brought by anyone other than Treasury, Treasury will communicate as appropriate, in the absence of any legal restriction on Treasury’s ability to so communicate, that your activities were conducted pursuant to and in compliance with this policy.


Reporting a Vulnerability

You can email vulnerability reports to webcomments@treasury.gov.

Note: Treasury does not support PGP-encrypted emails. Do not share sensitive information through email. If you believe it is necessary to share sensitive information with us, please indicate as such on the report and Treasury will reach out to establish a more secure method.

Reports should include:

  • A 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 Treasury would need to reproduce the issue.
     

Please keep your vulnerability reporting current by sending Treasury any new information as it becomes available.  Treasury may share your vulnerability reports with US-CERT, as well as any affected vendors.


Coordinated Disclosure

Treasury is committed to patching vulnerabilities within 90 days or less and disclosing the details of those vulnerabilities when patches are published.  Treasury believes 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, Treasury believes that disclosure in absence of a readily available patch tends to increase risk rather than reduce it, and as such request that you refrain from sharing your report with others while Treasury works on a patch.  If you believe there are others that should be informed of your report before the patch is available, please let Treasury know so arrangements can be made.

Treasury may want to coordinate an advisory with you to be published simultaneously with the patch, but you are also welcomed to self-disclose if you prefer.  By default, Treasury prefers to disclose everything, but will never publish information about you or Treasury communications with you without your permission.  In some cases, Treasury may also require sensitive information be redacted, and so please check with Treasury before self-disclosing.
 

The shortcut for this page is https://treasury.gov/vulnerability-disclosure-policy.