The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is committed to providing, through regulation and supervision, a safe and sound credit union system, which promotes confidence in the national system of cooperative credit. The NCUA protects the safety and soundness of the credit union system by identifying, monitoring and reducing risks to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the Share Insurance Fund provides up to $250,000 of federal share insurance to millions of account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions.
We want security researchers to feel comfortable reporting vulnerabilities they’ve discovered – as set out in this policy – so we can fix them and keep our information 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 faith1.
This policy is intended to give security researchers clear guidelines for conducting vulnerability discovery activities and to convey our preferences in how to submit discovered vulnerabilities to us. This policy also describes what systems and types of research are covered under this policy, how to send us vulnerability reports, and how long we ask security researchers to wait before publicly disclosing vulnerabilities.
We require that you:
- Report vulnerabilities as soon as possible after you discover a real or potential security issue
- Provide us 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 command line access and/or persistence, or use the exploit to “pivot” to other systems
- Once you’ve 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 us immediately, and not disclose this data to anyone else
- Do not submit a high volume of low-quality reports
- Keep confidential any information about discovered vulnerabilities for up to 45 calendar days after you have notified the NCUA. For details, please review Coordinated Disclosure
If you make a good faith effort to comply with this policy during your security research, we will consider your research to be authorized, we will work with you to understand and resolve the issue quickly, and the NCUA will not recommend or pursue legal action related to your research.
This policy applies to the following systems and services:
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 us at firstname.lastname@example.org before starting your research or at the security contact for the system’s domain name listed in the .gov WHOIS (opens new window) (You will be leaving NCUA.gov and accessing a non-NCUA website. We encourage you to read the NCUA's exit link policies. (opens new page).) .
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.
The following test types are not authorized:
- Network denial of service (DoS or DDoS) tests
- Physical testing (e.g. office access, open doors, tailgating)
- Social engineering (e.g. phishing, vishing)
- Any other non-technical vulnerability testing
If you encounter any of the below on our systems while testing within the scope of this policy, stop your test and notify us immediately:
- Personal identifiable information
- Financial Information (e.g. credit card or bank account numbers)
Reporting a vulnerability
Information submitted under this policy will be used for defensive purposes only – to mitigate or remediate vulnerabilities.
We accept and discuss vulnerability reports through this reporting form (opens new window) (You will be leaving NCUA.gov and accessing a non-NCUA website. We encourage you to read the NCUA's exit link policies. (opens new page).) . Reports may be submitted anonymously.
When properly notified of legitimate issues, we’ll acknowledge your report within seven (7) business days, assign resources to investigate the issue, and fix potential problems as quickly as possible.
What we would like to see from you
In order to help us triage and prioritize submissions, we recommend that your reports:
- Describe the vulnerability, where it was discovered, and the potential impact of exploitation.
- A detailed description of the steps required to reproduce the vulnerability. Proof of concept (POC) scripts, screenshots, and screen captures are all helpful. Please use extreme care to properly label and protect an exploit code.
- Any technical information and related materials we would need to reproduce the issue.
Please keep your vulnerability reports current by reporting any new information as it becomes available.
We may share your vulnerability reports with US-CERT (opens new window) (You will be leaving NCUA.gov and accessing a non-NCUA website. We encourage you to read the NCUA's exit link policies. (opens new page).) , as well as any affected vendors or open source projects.
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.
- Within 7 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.
The NCUA anticipates patching most vulnerabilities within 180 business days or less, and disclosing the details of those vulnerabilities when patches are published. We believe that public disclosure of vulnerabilities is an essential part of the vulnerability disclosure process, and that one of the best ways to make software better is to enable everyone to learn from each other’s mistakes. At the same time, we believe that disclosure in absence of a readily available patch tends to increase risk rather than reduce it, and so we ask that you refrain from sharing your report with others while we work on our patch. If you believe there are others that should be informed of your report before the patch is available, please let us know so we can make arrangements. We will coordinate an advisory with you to be published simultaneously with the patch. Please check with us before self-disclosing through email@example.com.
Document change history
1 Binding Operational Directive, 20-01, Develop and Publish a Vulnerability Disclosure Policy (opens new window) (You will be leaving NCUA.gov and accessing a non-NCUA website. We encourage you to read the NCUA's exit link policies. (opens new page).)