releasing information about security issues to the general public or a selected group.

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302
votes
22answers
295k views

I found that the company I work for is putting a backdoor into mobile phones

I have found out recently that the remote assistant software that we put in a smartphone we sell can be activated by us without user approval. We are not using this option, and it is probably there ...
112
votes
7answers
9k views

How do I report a security vulnerability about a trusted certificate authority? [duplicate]

I stumbled across a huge security vulnerability in a Certificate Authority that is trusted by all modern browsers and computers. Specifically, I am able to get a valid signed certificate for a domain ...
78
votes
2answers
16k views

I'm a White Hat and I develop my own viruses. Should I report it when almost all scanners say the executable is safe?

I develop my own viruses for 'scientific' purposes, namely to see if they pass the test of Virustotal.com. They all do, except for one or two scanners. Is this considered something you should report ...
67
votes
10answers
8k views

How to report vulnerabilities without being regarded as a hacker?

I just discovered that my university alumni's login page is just plain HTTP. Wireshark confirmed that the credentials are sent using an HTTP POST message. I did a bit of research and, as I thought, ...
61
votes
3answers
4k views

Are staggered roll outs of security patches bad?

Many Android devices, including the Google Nexus line, are now receiving monthly security patches via OTA updates, accompanied by the Android Security Bulletins. However, these updates are often ...
52
votes
9answers
4k views

How should I tell school that they are vulnerable when I wasn't given permission to check? [duplicate]

I would like to report security weaknesses to my school in UK. I had managed to find security weaknesses without any exploits or other software or hardware. I had look at similar question however ...
51
votes
4answers
5k views

Why submit a website to plaintext offenders?

I've read this question and to quote from the accepted answer Besides that, by submitting the site to plaintext offenders, you will provide a third-party point of view, which might help your case....
44
votes
6answers
6k views

How to disclose a security vulnerability in an ethical fashion?

How to disclose a security vulnerability in an ethical way? I've heard there are various schools of thought on this topic. I'd like to know the pros/cons of each.
37
votes
6answers
5k views

Open Source vs Closed Source Systems

My understanding is that open source systems are commonly believed to be more secure than closed source systems. Reasons for taking either approach, or combination of them, include: cultural norms, ...
37
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I respond to a published security vulnerability in my application?

In my spare time I write some PHP code the purpose of which is to block link spam and other various malicious activity. On May 11 someone who discovered an XSS vulnerability in the WordPress version ...
31
votes
8answers
4k views

Is it legal to find bugs on a website and report them to the website's owner? [closed]

I'm from Canada, and I'd like to know one thing. I know a bug on one website. I'm not sure if it's legal here to search for bugs on a website and NOT use them; instead, tell its company about it.
31
votes
2answers
4k views

Where to report malicious URLs, phishing, and malicious web sites?

I recently discovered that my web site was hacked: there was a hidden HTML div that's about selling shoes...! I googled the text in question and voila: thousands of sites have been hacked. Check this ...
27
votes
1answer
3k views

What is an n-day security attack?

There are several attacks types in computer security. For instance, zero-day attacks consist of attacks that use undisclosed exploits. In contrast, what is an n-day attack? Is it a security concern?
26
votes
4answers
4k views

What to do when I find a possible security vulnerability of public interest? [duplicate]

Let's say I found a possible vulnerability in a security system. The system has been universally considered sound for years and nowadays is used worldwide. I am not an expert in security, but there ...
23
votes
7answers
715 views

Fostering an environment where honesty and disclosure are valued

UPDATE: The question is seeking real research based on behavior analysis of a significantly large sample people using well defined experiments. Posting answers based on opinions, or ad-hoc ...
22
votes
3answers
500 views

As a student, how do I safely and responsibly disclose a serious security issue in a school environment?

I am a student at my local school. About eight months ago, I stumbled upon a security hole that could allow any user to discover any student's ID in the entire district, and I am aware that the IT ...
20
votes
3answers
971 views

Should Stack Exchange be more obscure in its systems' structure?

I've noticed that Stack Exchange always reveals the detailed structure of its servers and systems (see these blog posts). And also the exact results of their tests and points of weakness (see the old ...
19
votes
2answers
807 views

How to handle security issues of someone else's website

A few weeks ago I found that someone has posted admin account details for a certain website on a public wiki by mistake. As I found that data to be real (i.e. I could log into their website run by ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

What to do after you get a CVE?

I recently reported a security vulnerability and it was patched. The patch (and associated issue) are both out in the open in a Github repo (aka public). I contacted cve-assign@mitre.org to get a CVE ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Which companies facilitate payment in return for vulnerability disclosure?

If requesting payment from an affected party directly for the disclosure of vulnerabilities is considered extortion, how can independent security researchers earn a living or side income from ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How to not reveal that you are using PHP?

I'm bulding a website but some webtools and browser plugins allows anyone to get information on which technologies the website has been built. Is there any Alternative to not reveal that we are ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Whistleblowing, business ethics and credit card data

I'm writing this post as I'm facing a personal, ethical dillemma and I would like feedback on the best way to approach this situation, particularly from a philosophical point of view. I work for a ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Reporting vulnerable sites

Take this scenario: You browse the web and find a website that is vulnerable to SQL Injection. Being a good guy/gal you report the vulnerability to the site owner (if you are able to find contact ...
11
votes
2answers
382 views

Progress in market approaches to software vulnerability disclosure?

In A Comparison of Market Approaches to Software Vulnerability Disclosure (2006), Rainer Böhme describes the profound role of economic "market failure" in the industry dynamics that hinder software ...
10
votes
2answers
311 views

How do you address a social engineering and or software weakness/concern in a company or organisation?

Say that you call your bank and are able to start talking about your personal finances, without having given them any real proof of your identity. Well the first thing I'd think would be to change ...
9
votes
3answers
476 views

What are common/official methods of reporting spam/phishing/nasty-grams to organizations?

A user of mine just received a phishing email claiming to be the IRS. What methods of reporting are available, and what should be included?
9
votes
4answers
677 views

How should I escalate a vulnerability that is dismissed by the vendor?

I've come across a vulnerability that secure@microsoft does not think is worth pursuing. I would estimate that there are many, many customers affected by this issue. I do not want to start a ...
9
votes
1answer
253 views

Physical security - responsible disclosure

I recently discovered a way to bypass a commonly used security seal system, requiring no special equipment and taking only a matter of seconds. I feel obliged to disclose this, so as to avoid the ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a way for a consumer to report PCI non compliance?

Is there a way for a consumer to report PCI non compliance?
8
votes
4answers
339 views

Best practice for informing a website they've been compromised?

I've received a spam email that claims to be invoicing me for some service in New Jersey, USA with whom I've not had any dealings. The email includes a link to a zip file that is hosted on a greek ...
8
votes
3answers
364 views

Responsible Disclosures and Getting Sued

Lots of websites like Google, Facebook etc acknowledge the white hat hackers on their sites for reporting security vulnerability. But for the vulnerability reporter is it safe from legal perspective ? ...
7
votes
3answers
297 views

Disclosing security vulnerabilities to paying customers first

Particular case An (unnamed) vendor of an open source product also sells commercial licenses and support. One of the advantages of the commercial deal is that you get notified of security ...
7
votes
4answers
900 views

Where to publicly report a vulnerability, after developer ignores it? [duplicate]

If I've discovered a vulnerability, and disclosed it to the website/app's developer, how should I disclose it publicly? I gave the developer ample time to address the issue, as recommended by this. ...
7
votes
2answers
415 views

Ethics and economy in security research

How can we design a market for information disclosure where individual security researchers may benefit economically in an ethical way? Assume a market where the participants are governments, ...
7
votes
2answers
207 views

Is lack of wildcard DNS entry a security vulnerability?

A friend of a friend received an email from a security researcher that looks legit. Researcher submitted several vulnerabilities, one of the them reads like this Vulnerability # ... Title : ...
7
votes
3answers
218 views

Found a security vulnerability on gov related site

So I'm unsure how to go about dealing with what I found. It's a really simple security hole, but opens lots of personal data if exploited. I was on a government utility (being vague intentionally) ...
7
votes
4answers
198 views

I anonymously submitted a security vulnerability, but it was not resolved. What now?

This is more or less a continuation of my previous question: As a student, how do I safely and responsibly disclose a serious security issue in a school environment? More than four months on after I ...
7
votes
1answer
87 views

How does responsible disclosure work, once vendor says it's not a security bug?

I have identified a software bug in a platform, one that causes leakage of possibly private information in situations where an app developer on that platform might not expect such leakage. It's not ...
7
votes
1answer
222 views

How to encourage responsible disclosure (and react appropriately otherwise)

As a conscientious programmer, I put security as one of the core requirements of every product I develop. To prevent flaws from being introduced, I promote a culture of awareness (e.g. make sure that ...
6
votes
5answers
683 views

Effect of Source Code Leakage of a security suite on security

I am interested to know what threats does it pose, if the source code of a security suite is leaked. It came to my mind after reading the following URLs: http://www.pentestit.com/2011/01/31/source-...
6
votes
3answers
446 views

How and where can I best announce an XSS vulnerability in a relatively well-known website?

I'd like advice on how and where to announce an XSS vulnerability (persistent XSS to be exact). My greatest fear is the announcement getting snowed under, thus rendering the disclosure ineffective in ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to prevent email discovery in forms?

Being on the company security email list, I get emails with some regularity complaining about email discovery on various forms on my employers website. The reporters are complaining about things like ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

attack/abuse notification email template

I'm building a template for use when sending "abuse" notifications to ISPs, hosting providers, etc., for when attacks originate from their netblock. Are there examples of templates used for this ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

Considerations for security release notes

I need help with understanding how to manage security release notes for our product. We create major release of our product about each half years and security or maintenance releases each month. What ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Tools to identify and report hacking attempts originating inside reputable organizations?

Re: Should I report hacking attempts? - Server Fault Lots of people look at their own logs for attacks from the outside. But who regularly reports such attacks back to the source? I'm mainly ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

What might be the legal and policy consequences of traffic sniffing?

I found a security hole in an organisation in the UK with many employees. Login form sends user name and password in clear text to the public facing IP via HTTP. Initially I pointed this to IT but ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the chances of a database being hacked?

How often do websites (and their databases) get hacked? Hacked as in user accounts stolen, tables flushed, and all in all, damage done to the database. I'm talking about e-commerce websites, and ...
5
votes
2answers
325 views

My college hosts a critically vulnerable service. I warned them 4 years ago. What should I do? [duplicate]

Four years ago, I discovered that an applet on my college's website sends SQL queries directly to a server application. The databases contain nominal and personal information about students and grades,...
5
votes
3answers
176 views

Disclosure in potential loss-of-life situations, with an uncooperative vendor

I recently discovered a publicly accessible web interface to a highly sensitive bit of lab equipment, the malfunction of which would result in potential loss of life or serious health concerns to a ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

How to deal with found security issues on third party websites?

Some time ago I discovered a security flaw regarding the password policy of my cellphone provider which basically makes the website, which includes access to personal information and invoices, ...