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FreeBSD Security Vulnerability Reporting Information

Table of contents

How and where to report a FreeBSD security issue

All FreeBSD security issues should be reported to the FreeBSD Security Team or, if a higher level of confidentiality is required, PGP encrypted to the Security Officer Team using the Security Officer PGP key. All reports should at least contain:

  • A description of the vulnerability.
  • What versions of FreeBSD seem to be affected if possible.
  • Any plausible workaround.
  • Example code if possible.

After this information has been reported the Security Officer or a Security Team delegate will get back to you.

Spam filters

Due to high volume of spam the main security contact mail addresses are subject to spam filtering. If you cannot contact the FreeBSD Security Officers or Security Team due to spam filters (or suspect your mail has been filtered), please send mail to security-officer-XXXX@FreeBSD.org with XXXX replaced with 3432 instead of the normal addresses. Note that this address will be changed periodically so check back here for the latest address. Mails to this address will go to the FreeBSD Security Officer Team.

The FreeBSD Security Officer Team and the FreeBSD Security Team

In order that the FreeBSD Project may respond to vulnerability reports in a timely manner, emails sent to the <security-officer@FreeBSD.org> mail alias are currently delivered to the following people:

Dag-Erling C. Smørgrav <des@FreeBSD.org> Security Officer
Xin Li <delphij@FreeBSD.org> Deputy Security Officer
Simon L. B. Nielsen <simon@FreeBSD.org> Security Officer Emeritus
Colin Percival <cperciva@FreeBSD.org> Security Officer Emeritus
Robert Watson <rwatson@FreeBSD.org> Release Engineering liaison,
TrustedBSD Project liaison, system security architecture expert

The Security Officer is supported by the FreeBSD Security Team, <secteam@FreeBSD.org>, a small group of committers vetted by the Security Officer.

Information handling policies

As a general policy, the FreeBSD Security Officer favors full disclosure of vulnerability information after a reasonable delay to permit safe analysis and correction of a vulnerability, as well as appropriate testing of the correction, and appropriate coordination with other affected parties.

The Security Officer will notify one or more of the FreeBSD Cluster Admins of vulnerabilities that put the FreeBSD Project's resources under immediate danger.

The Security Officer may bring additional FreeBSD developers or outside developers into discussion of a submitted security vulnerability if their expertise is required to fully understand or correct the problem. Appropriate discretion will be exercised to minimize unnecessary distribution of information about the submitted vulnerability, and any experts brought in will act in accordance of Security Officer policies. In the past, experts have been brought in based on extensive experience with highly complex components of the operating system, including FFS, the VM system, and the network stack.

If a FreeBSD release process is underway, the FreeBSD Release Engineer may also be notified that a vulnerability exists, and its severity, so that informed decisions may be made regarding the release cycle and any serious security bugs present in software associated with an up-coming release. If requested, the Security Officer will not share information regarding the nature of the vulnerability with the Release Engineer, limiting information flow to existence and severity.

The FreeBSD Security Officer has close working relationships with a number of other organizations, including third-party vendors that share code with FreeBSD (the OpenBSD, NetBSD and DragonFlyBSD projects, Apple, and other vendors deriving software from FreeBSD, as well as the Linux vendor security list), as well as organizations that track vulnerabilities and security incidents, such as CERT. Frequently vulnerabilities may extend beyond the scope of the FreeBSD implementation, and (perhaps less frequently) may have broad implications for the global networking community. Under such circumstances, the Security Officer may wish to disclose vulnerability information to these other organizations: if you do not wish the Security Officer to do this, please indicate so explicitly in any submissions.

Submitters should be careful to explicitly document any special information handling requirements.

If the submitter of a vulnerability is interested in a coordinated disclosure process with the submitter and/or other vendors, this should be indicated explicitly in any submissions. In the absence of explicit requests, the FreeBSD Security Officer will select a disclosure schedule that reflects both a desire for timely disclosure and appropriate testing of any solutions. Submitters should be aware that if the vulnerability is being actively discussed in public forums (such as bugtraq), and actively exploited, the Security Officer may choose not to follow a proposed disclosure timeline in order to provide maximum protection for the user community.

Submissions may be protected using PGP. If desired, responses will also be protected using PGP.