Do you want to know more about vulnerability disclosure? We will clarify to you what exactly it is
Vulnerability disclosure enables users to perform technical vulnerability management as specified in ISO/IEC 29147:2018. Vulnerability disclosure helps users protect their systems and data, prioritize defensive investments, and better assess risk.
What Is a Vulnerability Disclosure?
During a vulnerability disclosure, individuals report security weaknesses in computer systems to the organization. Disclosure topic is a controversial issue between organizations, some of them prefer being private and not to disclose weaknesses publicly until they are remediated; However, some researchers prefer the organization disclose flaws in public right after discovery.
How Vulnerability Disclosure Works?
Security researchers or hackers often prefer to disclose the vulnerability that they found in the system privately for the organization. This report gives them a chance to remediate before bad guys can exploit it.
Researchers, programmers, and security professionals are often the ones who discover flaws within a system. When third parties find a vulnerability, the researcher tries to contact organizations to inform them of the issue. An organization with a vulnerability disclosure program (VDP) can prioritize the vulnerability and report the process for quick remediation.
When the researcher finds out how to submit a vulnerability, they prepare a report with full details of their discovery.
- Details that describe the vulnerability and its impact
- Screenshots, code-snippets, and additional evidence of the vulnerability
- Proof of concept details that allow the vendor to replicate the vulnerability
- Any additional material that helps the organization understand the vulnerability
The most common vulnerabilities that the hunters find and disclose are Cross-site Scripting (XSS), Improper Access Control, and SQL injections.
From time to time, hunters submit zero-day vulnerabilities for organizations. Zero-day vulnerabilities are significant because there is no cure for them at the time; so, if the customers leave these vulnerabilities unpatched, they could lead to broad exploitation and they would be extremely dangerous for Customers.
Simple bugs would be quickly fixed after the first report but on the other hand, more sophisticated vulnerabilities may need more communication to fix. Transparent communication would assist to keep each party responsible through remediation and aid to assure patches work as planned during retest. Prioritizing and patching vulnerabilities would be time-consuming, particularly in larger environments. Researchers and the response team should have ongoing communication and clarification during longer response and resolution times.
According to the complexity and sensitivity of vulnerabilities, Hunters can use multiple disclosure methods for guidance.
Types of Disclosure
Full disclosure includes publishing vulnerability information in a public setting as early as possible. This method pressure companies to force developers into fixing the bug before Black hats can exploit it. In the Full disclosure method, details of the vulnerability would be published in conferences, Social media, or white papers.
If the organizations didn’t respond to private disclosure attempts, the Full disclosure method could force them to take action before bad actors.
In public disclosure, third parties should prioritize and develop their solutions as early as possible
Facing time gaps when communicating with the security experts can increase remediating durations, in the other words lack of communication between haunters and companies can leave companies vulnerable for longer. There should be no frictions (friction) between researchers and companies, and haunters are responsible for reducing the friction. Haunters should choose the most suitable report to share with the company. The most suitable report that can help companies practically is the “full disclosure”.
Creating a Vulnerability Disclosure Program can help organizations encourage consonant disclosures (VDP). Researchers can use VDP as an instruction to find out organizations’ vulnerabilities. Based on these instructions, haunters can be aware of acceptable methods of finding out and submitting vulnerabilities. When developing a patch, organizations should make the vulnerability public as soon as possible.
Haunters have to be aware of (the) following points as their duty:
- Allowing the vendor a sufficient amount of time to reply and prepare a fix is required of hunters.
- Hunters have to behave so professionally and present reports with full details.
- Hunters have to get written permissions from the vendors to reveal the vulnerabilities they have found.
- Hunters must follow any guidelines set forth by the organization’s VDP.
Vendors have to take care of their duties as well:
- Vendors have to present identification in exchange for their time and effort
- Vendors have to set appropriate rewards for hunters
- Allow researchers to share vulnerabilities without fear of getting in trouble.
- Researchers and developers collaborate to address security flaws in virtual desktop platforms (VDPs), which provide a regulated and collaborative environment. These rules provide us with a clear line of communication and correction. Having a public-facing VDP signal to security researchers, consumers, and investors that your organization takes security seriously because you’re providing a direct platform for first disclosure.
Want to know the qualifications of a prosperous VDP?
The services, attributes, and quiddity of security gaps that are eligible for being submitted are defined by the scope. Want to know where to find the vulnerability? Check out the scope.
Companies need to be sure that none of the security researchers go against their terms and conditions.
Explains the importance of VDP.
The reports that researchers submit should be evaluated based on regular terms and policies. These conditions are determined in Evaluation sections.
How SecureBug Can Help?
SecureBug can help with the more encouraging model like The Bug bounty program
A bug bounty program incentivizes external third parties to find security vulnerabilities in a company’s software and report them directly to the company so they can be safely resolved. In return, the finders of the vulnerabilities are rewarded with monetary prizes.
BBPs have the option to be private or public, where you can choose which will work best for you.
BBPs are also a bit more complex than VDPs as there are a lot more components and settings to configure such as a bounty structure and response targets. You can see all the settings that need to be configured for BBPs on this link.