Responsible Disclosure Policy
Working in the Information Technology/Information Security field, our members have upon occasion discovered vulnerabilities in various products. Much work has been done by the community to try and mitigate the differences of opinions held by all. Unfortunately there is no "right" view and the religious debate over full disclosure vice non-disclosure vice responsible disclosure wages on.
Whitehats.ca has taken a specific position on the topic of responsible disclosure. The policy below details how the organisation and our members can be expected to deal with releasing vulnerability information to the public. Our adoptation of this policy and its public availability here serve to advertise our expectations and conversely clearly spell out our commitments when dealing with vendors as these relate to finding resolution to various vulnerabilities.
I would like to thank Rain Forest Puppy for reproducing the publication upon which we have based our policy after the IETF has discontinued its availability. Whitehats.ca also acknowledges the contributions made to responsible disclosure by RFP, @stake, MITRE, Security Focus, and many, many others.
The policy and our addendum are available in a printer-friendly format at the two URI below:
|Whitehats.ca Responsible Disclosure Policy Addendum|
|-Addendum to "Responsible Vulnerability Disclosure Process draft-christey-wysopal-vuln-disclosure-00.txt"|
Whitehats.ca and its members adhere to the "Responsible Vulnerability
Disclosure Process draft-christey-wysopal-vuln-disclosure-00.txt" fundamental
documentation to facilitate a methodical and published process for disclosure.
Where our policy deviates from the aforementioned policy, differences have
been published within this document, "Whitehats.ca Responsible Disclosure
Policy Addendum". The original policy upon which Whitehats.ca bases our
policy is no longer available for download from the IETF. This is a result of
the IETF's policy that drafts are only published for 6 months unless accepted
as an RFC. This policy did not become an RFC.
Both documents are available at:
When possible Whitehats.ca will work with the Office of Critical Infrastructure
Protection and Emergency Preparedness as a coordinator when deemed a
requirement by either Whitehats.ca or the vendor. Most importantly, if our
organisation is working with your organisation on an issue and something is
not clearly understood within this policy, ask for clarification.
Attn: Cyber Duty Officer - (CDO)
|Attn: Cyber Duty Officer - (CDO)
Téléphone : (613) 991-7000 ou 1 800 830-3118*
Télécopieur : (613) 996-0995
Courriel : firstname.lastname@example.org
Site Web : www.bpiepc-ocipep.gc.ca
Courrier : Bureau de la protection des infrastructures essentielles et de la protection civile
Direction des communications
122, rue Bank, 2e étage
Whitehats.ca has published our contact information on our website. Further,
whois information for our domain contains appropriate and updated contact
information. We have made every effort to ensure our availability to vendors
and coordinators. Contact information as of 2003-03-01 has been re-published
here for your convenience.
|1-519-221-9132 (North America)|
|PGP Key: http://www.whitehats.ca/downloads/pgp_keys/Secalert.txt|
Whitehats.ca members shall conduct analysis and document the methods used
produce any vulnerability being reported. This information shall be made
available to both the vendor and/or coordination centre upon their request.
The vulnerability must be reproducible.
Members of Whitehats.ca will contribute resources, as available, in helping
the vendor understand the relevant issues. At the discretion of the member,
aid may be provided pro-bono to help rectify the vulnerability upon the
request of the vendor.
Should Whitehats.ca determine that for any reason we are unable to provide
further help or resources on the vulnerability resolution process, we WILL
inform the vendor and/or coordinator of such a decision and relinquish
involvement in the RDP process, leaving reporting timeframes with the vendor
or coordinator, as they deem appropriate.
If Whitehats.ca or its members find the report to be false, we WILL inform
vendor and/or coordinator within 4 calendar days. If Whitehats.ca or its
members obtain new information on the vulnerability we will provide this
information to the vendor and/or coordinator within 4 calendar days.
If Whitehats.ca cannot agree with a vendor, we WILL seek the assistance of
We will strive to allow a grace period if cooperation from the vendor has
occurred. Our organisational goals are to improve security in the Information
Technology field and as such we wish to allow as much time as reasonably
possible for consumers to apply corrective solutions to avoid exploit, loss,
Our organization requests credit for responsibly working towards increasing
the state of security within the Information Technology field. Specific
members may also request acknowledgement individually. Granting of this
request by vendors will help maintain positive working relationships.
If the vendor concludes that the vulnerability is not high enough a priority
to inform the public Whitehats.ca and its members reserve the right to
publicly release our findings as deemed appropriate by our organisation. If a
coordinator has been involved in the process, we will continue to work with
the coordinator as required to release the vulnerability information
Whitehats.ca will make all attempts to reach an amicable resolution and
enhance relations with the vendor. Should this fail even with the aid of a
coordinator, Whitehats.ca and its members reserve the right to publicly
release our findings as deemed appropriate by our organisation. Efforts will
be made to reach an amicable agreement with the coordinator however should
this fail Whitehats.ca and its members reserve the right to release our
findings without agreement from the coordinator. This protects the public
should the vendor and coordinator be motivated for ulterior reasons not to
work the issue towards resolution.
Whitehats.ca will take precautions to ensure that only the information
required by the public to mitigate the vulnerability is released to the
Whitehats.ca will provide credit to vendors and coordinators who participate
in the responsible disclosure process regardless of outcome.
Whitehats.ca and its members involved in the responsible disclosure process
will provide impact assessments to vendors and coordinators. An impact
assessment will also be included in any advisories released. Whitehats.ca and
its members reserve the right to modify the impact assessment as deemed
necessary to adequately inform the Information Technology industry of the
issues at hand. Vendors and coordinators who follow the RDP process will be
afforded the opportunity to review our advisory and provide input prior to its
Whitehats.ca has published where our organisation and membership complies
does not comply with the "Responsible Vulnerability Disclosure Process draft-
christey-wysopal-vuln-disclosure-00.txt" document. Variances are published
within this document.
Whitehats.ca is willing to allow a maximum grace period of 15 calendar days
from the time a request is received. After this period the vendor or
coordinator may request additional grace periods in increments not exceeding
15 days at a time. The reason for this is Whitehats.ca and its members
require an open communications channel and frequent updates should resolution
drag on. Any vulnerability not resolved or where the resolution process has
exceeded 180 calendar days from the date of initial notification will be
published regardless of vendor or coordinator consent.