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Vulnerability Disclosure Policy

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is committed to ensuring the security of the American public by protecting its information from unauthorized disclosure. This policy provides guidelines on how security researchers should conduct vulnerability discoveries and how they should submit discovered vulnerabilities to BLS.

The vulnerability disclosure policy describes:

  • What system and types of research are covered;
  • How to send vulnerability reports; and
  • How long to wait before publicly disclosing vulnerabilities.

We want security researchers to feel comfortable reporting vulnerabilities they have discovered—as set out in this policy—so that we can fix them and keep our users safe. We have developed this policy to reflect our values and uphold our sense of responsibility to security researchers who share their expertise with us in good faith.

Guidelines

Under the vulnerability disclosure policy, “research” means activities in which you:

  • Notify us at secure@bls.gov as soon as possible after you discover a real or potential security issue.
  • Provide us with a reasonable amount of time to resolve the issue before you disclose it publicly.
  • 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 persistent command line access, or “pivot” to other systems.
  • Stop your test, notify us immediately, and do not disclose any data to anyone else, once you have found a vulnerability or encounter any sensitive data (including personally identifiable information, financial information, or proprietary information or trade secrets of any party).
  • Do not submit a high volume of low-quality reports.
  • Provide contact information, but anonymous submissions are also accepted.

Authorization

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

Scope

This policy applies to the following systems and services:

  • *.bls.gov

Any service not expressly listed above, such as any connected services, are excluded from scope and are not authorized for testing. Additionally, vulnerabilities found in nonfederal 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 are not sure whether a system or endpoint is in scope, contact us at secure@bls.gov before starting your research.

Although we 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 think merits testing, please contact us to discuss it first. We will increase the scope of this policy over time.

The following test methods are not authorized:

  • Network denial of service (DoS or DDoS) tests or other tests that impair access to or damage a system or data
  • Physical testing (for example, office access, open doors, tailgating), social engineering (for example, phishing, vishing), or any other nontechnical vulnerability testing

Reporting Vulnerabilities

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 BLS, we may share your report with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, where it will be handled under their coordinated vulnerability disclosure process. We will not share your name or contact information without expressed permission.

We accept vulnerability reports at secure@bls.gov. Reports may be submitted anonymously.

If you share contact information, we will acknowledge receipt of your report within 5 business days.

For particularly sensitive information, please contact us at secure@bls.gov for further submission instructions.

Please keep your vulnerability reports current by sending us any new information as it becomes available. We may share your vulnerability reports with the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) at the Department of Homeland Security and any affected vendors or open source projects.

What we would like to see from you

In order to help us triage and prioritize submissions, we recommend that your reports:

  • Describe the location in which the vulnerability was discovered and the potential impact of exploitation
  • Offer a detailed description of the steps needed to reproduce the vulnerability (proof of concept scripts or screenshots are helpful)

What you can expect from us

When you choose to share your contact information with us, we commit to coordinating with you as openly and as quickly as possible. You can expect us to do the following activities:

  • Within 5 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.

Questions

Questions regarding this policy may be sent to secure@bls.gov. We also invite you to contact us with suggestions for improving this policy.

Last Modified Date: February 26, 2021