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Vulnerability Disclosure Policy
[ Introduction ] [ Authorization ] [ Guidelines ] [ Scope ] [ Rules of Engagement ] [ Reporting a Vulnerability ] [ Disclosure ] [ Acknowledgments ] [ Questions ]
Introduction
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)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 our preferences in how to submit discovered vulnerabilities to us.
This policy 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 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 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.
Authorization
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 HHS will not recommend or pursue legal action related to your research.
Guidelines
Under this policy, “research” means activities in which you:
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.
Scope
All systems and services associated with domains listed below are in scope.  Likewise, subdomains of each listing, unless explicitly excluded, are always in scope.  Additionally, any website published with a link to this policy shall be considered in scope.  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 support@responsibledisclosure.com 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 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.
OrganizationDomains
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)acf.gov
childcare.gov
childwelfare.gov
fatherhood.gov
acf.hhs.gov
ncands.net
ssbgportal.net
cfsrportal.org
Administration of Community Living (ACL)acl.gov
agingstats.gov
aoa.gov
eldercare.gov
longtermcare.gov
whaging.gov
whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov
namrs.net
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)mepstech.com
ahcpr.gov
ahrq.gov
guideline.gov
guidelines.gov
certs.hhs.gov
cahpsusernetwork.net
ahrqadmin.org
ahrqdev.org
chainonline.org
mepsdocs.org
pccds-ln.org
pcorcds-ln.org
psoppc.org
sitenv.org
uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)cdc.gov
cdcpartners.gov
coronavirus.gov
flu.gov
healthindicators.gov
millionhearts.hhs.gov
ncvhs.hhs.gov
vaers.hhs.gov
pandemicflu.gov
selectagents.gov
simplereport.gov
e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov
vaccine.gov
vaccines.gov
vacine.gov
vacines.gov
vacuna.gov
vacunas.gov
thecommunityguide.org
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)csscoperations.com
cms.gov
cuidadodesalud.gov
healthcare.gov
cms.hhs.gov
insurekidsnow.gov
medicaid.gov
medicalbillrights.gov
medicare.gov
mymedicare.gov
qualitynet.org
hcgov.us
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)betobaccofree.gov
fda.gov
blogs.fda.gov
ceportal.fda.gov
govdashboard.fda.gov
labels.fda.gov
betobaccofree.hhs.gov
nextlegends.gov
therealcost.gov
tobacco.gov
Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)cares.linkhealth.com
covid19.linkhealth.com
donaciondeorganos.gov
telehealth.hhs.gov
hrsa.gov
organdonor.gov
hv-impact.edc.org
Indian Health Services (IHS)ihs.gov
directihs.net
National Institutes of Health (NIH)alzheimers.gov
brain.gov
brainhealth.gov
cancer.gov
cerebrosano.gov
clinicaltrial.gov
clinicaltrials.gov
collegedrinkingprevention.gov
diabetescommittee.gov
docline.gov
drugabuse.gov
edison.gov
everytrycounts.gov
genome.gov
hearttruth.gov
agreementbuilder.hhs.gov
asrp.hhs.gov
collaborate-acl.hhs.gov
das.hhs.gov
ocrportal.hhs.gov
oga.hhs.gov
omhaportal.hhs.gov
safetyreporting.hhs.gov
iedison.gov
locatorplus.gov
medlineplus.gov
mesh.gov
ncifcrf.gov
nih.gov
nlm.gov
nnlm.gov
pubmed.gov
smokefree.gov
thebraininitiative.gov
thisfreelife.gov
tox21.gov
ncats.io
brainattackcoalition.org
charmm.org
citdbase.org
coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org
ctsu.org
gem-measures.org
genomereference.org
nci-fyi.org
ncihub.org
nhlbiwgs.org
proteincapture.org
scienceforum.sc
Office of the Inspector General (OIG)hhsoig.gov
oig.hhs.gov
Office of the Secretary (OS)worklife4you.com
aids.gov
bioethics.gov
covid.gov
covidtest.gov
covidtests.gov
dhhs.gov
fitness.gov
foodsafety.gov
girlshealth.gov
grants.gov
grantsolutions.gov
health.gov
healthdata.gov
healthfinder.gov
healthit.gov
healthypeople.gov
hhs.gov
hiv.gov
medicalcountermeasures.gov
opioids.gov
phe.gov
psc.gov
stopbullying.gov
surgeongeneral.gov
usphs.gov
womenshealth.gov
youth.gov
oahpmdata.net
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)findtreatment.gov
mentalhealth.gov
recoverymonth.gov
samhsa.gov
stopalcoholabuse.gov
Rules of Engagement
Security researchers must not:
Security researchers may:
View or store HHS nonpublic data only to the extent necessary to document the presence of a potential vulnerability.
Security researchers must:
Reporting a Vulnerability
We accept vulnerability reports at https://hhs.responsibledisclosure.com . Reports may be submitted anonymously.  We do not support PGP-encrypted emails at this 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 HHS, 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.
By clicking “Submit Report,” you are indicating that you have read, understand, and agree to the guidelines described in this policy for the conduct of security research and disclosure of vulnerabilities or indicators of vulnerabilities related to HHS information systems, and consent to having the contents of the communication and follow-up communications stored on a U.S. Government information system.
In order to help us triage and prioritize submissions, we recommend that your reports:
Disclosure
HHS is committed to timely correction of vulnerabilities. However, we recognize that public disclosure of a vulnerability in absence of a readily available corrective action likely increases versus decreases risk. Accordingly, we require that you refrain from sharing information about discovered vulnerabilities for 90 calendar days after you have received our acknowledgement of receipt of your report. If you believe others should be informed of the vulnerability prior to our implementation of corrective actions, we require that you coordinate in advance with us.
We may share vulnerability reports with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), as well as any affected vendors. We will not share names or contact data of security researchers unless given explicit permission.
Acknowledgments
For HHS Vulnerability Disclosure Policy Program Acknowledgments please visit https://www.hhs.gov/vulnerability-disclosure-policy/acknowledgments
Questions
Questions regarding this policy may be sent to HHS.Cybersecurity@hhs.gov​. We also invite you to contact us with suggestions for improving this policy.
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Content created by Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)
Content last reviewed October 5, 2022
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