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Vulnerability reporting

How to report a vulnerability with a Brunel University London service or system

Do you believe you have found a vulnerability with a Brunel University London service or system?

If you have identified a vulnerability on a Brunel University Application, website or System, your first point of contact should be the Cyber & InfoSec Security Team (CIST) using the email address; vulnerability@brunel.ac.uk.  

Please include as much detail as possible.  

If you have sensitive data, or feel uncomfortable about going through this route, you can contact the Cyber & Information Security Team directly using the following channels:  

  • In person – WLFB004, Wilfred Brown Building. 
  • Email – Andrew.clarke@brunel.ac.uk 
  • Telephone - +44(0)1895 268564 

Report a vulnerability  

Brunel University’s Cyber & InfoSec Security Team welcome responsible disclosure of any vulnerability in our services. We are committed to verifying and responding to any legitimate reported vulnerability. 

Disclosure guidelines: 

  • The website, IP, or page where the vulnerability or security issue can be observed.  
  • A brief description of the type of vulnerability, for example, “XSS vulnerability”.  
  • Steps to reproduce. These should be a benign, non-destructive, proof of concept. This helps to ensure that the report can be triaged quickly and accurately. It also reduces the likelihood of duplicate reports, or malicious exploitation of some vulnerabilities, such as sub-domain takeovers. 

What to expect 

After you have submitted your report, we will respond to your report within 5 working days and aim to triage your report within 10 working days. We will also aim to keep you informed of our progress.  

Priority for remediation is assessed by looking at the impact, severity, and exploit complexity. Vulnerability reports might take some time to triage or address. You are welcome to enquire on the status but should avoid doing so more than once every 14 days. This allows our teams to focus on the remediation.  

We will notify you when the reported vulnerability is remediated, and you may be invited to confirm that the solution covers the vulnerability adequately.  

Once your vulnerability has been resolved, we welcome requests to disclose your report. We would like to unify guidance to affected users, so please do continue to coordinate public release with us. 

We do not offer monetary rewards for vulnerability disclosures but, if agreed, we can add your name and the identified vulnerability on the BUL Intranet Cyber page “Hall of Fame” as recognition. This will only apply to the first observed notification of valid and recognised vulnerabilities. 

You must NOT: 

  • Avoid violating the law, privacy, or any destruction, alteration, or denial of our services. 
  • Do not modify or access any data that does not belong to you  
  • Break any applicable law or regulations.  
  • Access unnecessary, excessive, or significant amounts of data.  
  • Modify data in the University’s systems or services.  
  • Use high-intensity invasive or destructive scanning tools to find vulnerabilities.  
  • Attempt or report any form of denial of service, e.g. overwhelming a service with a high volume of requests. 
  • Disrupt the University’s services or systems.  
  • Submit reports detailing non-exploitable vulnerabilities, or reports indicating that the services do not fully align with “best practice”, for example missing security headers.  
  • Submit reports detailing TLS configuration weaknesses, for example “weak” cipher suite support or the presence of TLS1.0 support.  
  • Communicate any vulnerabilities or associated details other than by means described in the published policy.  
  • Social engineer, ‘phish’ or physically attack the University’s staff, students, or infrastructure.  
  • Demand financial compensation in order to disclose any vulnerabilities.  

You must: 

  • Always comply with data protection rules and must not violate the privacy of the University users, staff, students, contractors, services, or systems. You must not, for example, share, redistribute or fail to properly secure data retrieved from the systems or services.  
  • Securely delete all data retrieved during your research as soon as it is no longer required or within 1 month of the vulnerability being resolved, whichever occurs first (or as otherwise required by data protection law).  

Legalities 

This policy is designed to be compatible with common vulnerability disclosure good practice. It does not give you permission to act in any manner that is inconsistent with the law, or which might cause the University or partner organisations to be in breach of any legal obligations. 

Brunel University London adheres to the international standard for vulnerability disclosure; ISO/IEC 29147:2018 and follows the techniques and policies detailed within this standard for receiving vulnerability reports and publishing remediation information.