The U.S. government’s cybersecurity agency has issued a draft directive mandating all agencies to develop vulnerability disclosure policies, which would give ethical hackers clear guidelines for submitting bugs found in government systems. Security experts hope that the directive will light a fire under the feet of federal agencies to create more transparency around the ins and outs of vulnerability disclosure, as well as increase trust overall between the government and security communities. The directive, which is a compulsory order for federal departments and agencies, is in a draft phase and remains open for public comment until Dec. 27, according to its issuer, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Currently, most federal agencies lack a formal mechanism to receive information from white-hat hackers about potential security vulnerabilities on their systems, CISA said in the draft directive, released last week: “Many agencies have no defined strategy for handling reports about such issues shared by outside parties. Only a few agencies have clearly stated that those who disclose vulnerabilities in good faith are authorized.” The directive would aim to change this by requiring agencies to publish policies with detailed descriptions of which systems are in scope, the types of testing that are allowed and how white hat hackers can submit vulnerability reports. The policies would cover all internet-accessible systems or services in government agencies…
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