Reporting Vulnerabilities is for the Brave

By | May 23, 2006

I was involved in disclosing a vulnerability found by a student to a production web site using custom software (i.e., we didn’t have access to the source code or configuration information). As luck would have it, the web site got hacked. I had to talk to a detective in the resulting police investigation. Nothing bad happened to me, but it could have, for two reasons.

The first reason is that whenever you do something “unnecessary”, such as reporting a vulnerability, police wonder why, and how you found out. Police also wonders if you found one vulnerability, could you have found more and not reported them? Who did you disclose that information to? Did you get into the web site, and do anything there that you shouldn’t have? It’s normal for the police to think that way. They have to. Unfortunately, it makes it very uninteresting to report any problems.Read Full Story

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