Ginnie Mae is committed to ensuring the security of the American public by protecting their information from unwarranted disclosure. This policy is intended to give security researchers clear guidelines for conducting vulnerability discovery activities and to convey Ginnie Mae preferences in how to submit discovered vulnerabilities.
This policy describes what systems and types of research are covered under this policy, how to send vulnerability reports, and how long Ginnie Mae will ask security researchers to wait before publicly disclosing vulnerabilities.
Ginnie Mae wants security researchers to feel comfortable reporting vulnerabilities they have discovered – as set out in this policy – so 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.
1) Your activities are limited exclusively to –
a. Testing to detect a vulnerability or identify an indicator related to a vulnerability; or
b. Sharing with, or receiving from, Ginnie Mae information about a vulnerability or an indicator related to a vulnerability.
2) Notify the agency as soon as possible after you discover a real or potential security issue.
3) Make every effort to avoid privacy violations, degradation of user experience, disruption to production systems, and destruction or manipulation of data.
4) You do no harm and do not exploit any vulnerability beyond the minimal amount of testing required to prove that a vulnerability exists or to identify an indicator related to a vulnerability.
5) You avoid intentionally accessing the content of any communications, data, or information transiting or stored on Ginnie Mae information system(s) – except to the extent that the information is directly related to a vulnerability and the access is necessary to prove that the vulnerability exists.
6) You do not exfiltrate any data under any circumstances.
7) You do not intentionally compromise the privacy or safety of Ginnie Mae personnel (e.g., contractors or affiliates), or any third parties.
8) You do not intentionally compromise the intellectual property or other commercial or financial interests of any Ginnie Mae personnel or entities, or any third parties.
9) You do not publicly disclose any details of the vulnerability, indicator of vulnerability, or the content of information rendered available by a vulnerability, except upon receiving explicit written authorization from Ginnie Mae.
10) You do not conduct denial of service testing.
11) You do not conduct any form (electronic, manual, automated, etc.) of testing that would impact system operability, stability, and performance.
12) You do not conduct social engineering, including spear phishing, of Ginnie Mae personnel or contractors.
13) You do not submit a high-volume of low-quality reports
14) Only use exploits to the extent necessary to confirm a vulnerability's presence. 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.
15) Provide the agency a reasonable amount of time to resolve the issue before you disclose it publicly.
16) Once you have established that a vulnerability exists or encounter any sensitive data (including personally identifiable information, financial information, or proprietary information or trade secrets of any party), you must stop your test, notify the agency immediately, and not disclose this data to anyone else.
17) If at any point you are uncertain whether to continue testing, contact email@example.com.
1) Network denial of service (DoS or DDoS) tests or other tests that impair access to or damage a system or data
2) Physical testing (e.g., office access, open doors, tailgating), social engineering (e.g., phishing, vishing), or any other non-technical vulnerability testing.
3) Full red-team penetration testing that involves unauthorized access to our servers
4) Social engineering or phishing of customers or employees
5) Theoretical vulnerabilities
6) Informational disclosure of non-sensitive data
7) Low impact session management issues
8) Self XSS (user defined payload)
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 non-federal 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 aren't sure whether a system or endpoint is in scope or not, contact firstname.lastname@example.org before starting your research or at the security contact for the system's domain name listed in the .gov WHOIS.
Though 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.
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 Ginnie Mae, 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 express permission.
We accept vulnerability reports via email@example.com. Reports may be submitted anonymously. If you share contact information, we will acknowledge receipt of your report within 3 business days.
In order to help us triage and prioritize submissions, we recommend that your reports:
1) Describe the location the vulnerability was discovered and the potential impact of exploitation.
2) Offer a detailed description of the steps needed to reproduce the vulnerability (proof of concept scripts or screenshots are helpful).
3) Do not request compensation for time and materials or vulnerabilities discovered.
4) Be in English, if possible.
When you choose to share your contact information with us, we commit to coordinating with you as openly and as quickly as possible.
1) Within 3 business days, we will acknowledge that your report has been received if you share contact information.
2) 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.
3) We will maintain an open dialogue to discuss issues.
4) We want researchers to be recognized publicly for their contributions, if that is the researcher's desire. We will seek to allow researchers to be publicly recognized whenever possible. However, public disclosure of vulnerabilities will only be authorized at the express written consent of the Agency.
5) Information submitted to the Agency under this policy will be used for defensive purposes – to mitigate or remediate vulnerabilities in our networks or applications, or the applications of our vendors.
6) Ginnie Mae does not provide payment to reporters for submitting vulnerabilities.
a. Reporters submitting vulnerabilities to Ginnie Mae, in so doing, waive any claims to compensation.
7) Questions regarding this policy may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also invite you to contact us with suggestions for improving this policy.