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Gridcoin Vulnerability Response Process


Researchers/Hackers: while you research/hack, we ask that you please refrain from committing the following:

  • Denial of Service / Active exploiting against the network
  • Social Engineering of Gridcoin developers or maintainers
  • Any physical or electronic attempts against Gridcoin community property and/or data centers

If you do need to test the execution of an exploit, use the Gridcoin testnet.

I. Point of Contacts for Security Issues
A8FC 55F3 B04B A314 6F34  92E7 9303 B33A 3052 24CB
D5F6 97AD 8E9C 829C 7861  19B0 9A58 6C82 96D9 78B9
A3AB 2616 664E BA36 A4EC 3F88 B6B9 BD36 C45F 4253

II. Security Response Team

  • thecharlatan
  • ravon

III. Incident Response

  1. Researcher submits report via Email

  2. Response Team designates a Response Manager who is in charge of the particular report based on availability and/or knowledge-set

  3. In no more than 3 working days, Response Team should gratefully respond to researcher using only encrypted, secure channels

  4. Response Manager makes inquiries to satisfy any needed information to confirm if submission is indeed a vulnerability

    • a. If submission proves to be vulnerable, proceed to next step
    • b. If not vulnerable:
      • i. Response Manager responds with reasons why submission is not a vulnerability
      • ii. Response Manager moves discussion to a new or existing ticket on GitHub if necessary
  5. Establish severity of vulnerability:

    • a. HIGH: impacts network as a whole, has potential to break entire network, results in the loss of gridcoin, or is on a scale of great catastrophe
    • b. MEDIUM: impacts individual nodes, wallets, or must be carefully exploited
    • c. LOW: is not easily exploitable
  6. Respond according to the severity of the vulnerability:

    • a. HIGH severities must be notified on website and cryptocurrencytalk within 3 working days of classification
      • i. The notification should list appropriate steps for users to take, if any
      • ii. The notification must not include any details that could suggest an exploitation path
      • iii. The latter takes precedence over the former
    • b. MEDIUM and HIGH severities will require a Point Release
    • c. LOW severities will be addressed in the next Regular Release
  7. Response Team applies appropriate patch(es)

    • a. Response Manager designates a PRIVATE git "hotfix branch" to work in
    • b. Patches are reviewed with the researcher
    • c. Any messages associated with PUBLIC commits during the time of review should not make reference to the security nature of the PRIVATE branch or its commits
    • d. Vulnerability announcement is drafted
      • i. Include the severity of the vulnerability
      • ii. Include all vulnerable systems/apps/code
      • iii. Include solutions (if any) if patch cannot be applied
    • e. Release date is discussed
  8. At release date, Response Team coordinates with developers to finalize update:

    • a. Response Manager propagates the "hotfix branch" to trunk
    • b. Response Manager includes vulnerability announcement draft in release notes
    • c. Proceed with the Point or Regular Release

IV. Post-release Disclosure Process

  1. Response Team has 90 days to fulfill all points within section III

  2. If the Incident Response process in section III is successfully completed:

    • a. Response Manager contacts researcher and asks if researcher wishes for credit
    • b. Finalize vulnerability announcement draft and include the following:
      • i. Project name and URL
      • ii. Versions known to be affected
      • iii. Versions known to be not affected (for example, the vulnerable code was introduced in a recent version, and older versions are therefore unaffected)
      • iv. Versions not checked
      • v. Type of vulnerability and its impact
      • vi. The planned, coordinated release date
      • vii. Mitigating factors (for example, the vulnerability is only exposed in uncommon, non-default configurations)
      • viii. Workarounds (configuration changes users can make to reduce their exposure to the vulnerability)
      • ix. If applicable, credits to the original reporter
    • c. Release finalized vulnerability announcement on website and cryptocurrencytalk
  3. If the Incident Response process in section III is not successfully completed:

    • a. Response Team and developers organize an Slack / IRC meeting to discuss why/what points in section III were not resolved and how the team can resolve them in the future
    • b. Any developer meetings immediately following the incident should include points made in section V
    • c. If disputes arise about whether or when to disclose information about a vulnerability, the Response Team will publicly discuss the issue via Slack / IRC and attempt to reach consensus
    • d. If consensus on a timely disclosure is not met (no later than 90 days), the researcher (after 90 days) has every right to expose the vulnerability to the public

V. Incident Analysis

  1. Isolate codebase

    • a. Response Team and developers should coordinate to work on the following:
      • i. Problematic implementation of classes/libraries/functions, etc.
      • ii. Focus on apps/distro packaging, etc.
      • iii. Operator/config error, etc.
  2. Auditing

    • a. Response Team and developers should coordinate to work on the following:
      • i. Auditing of problem area(s) as discussed in point 1
      • ii. Generate internal reports and store for future reference
      • iii. If results are not sensitive, share with the public via IRC, Slack or GitHub
  3. Response Team has 45 days following completion of section III to ensure completion of section V

VI. Resolutions

Any further questions or resolutions regarding the incident(s) between the researcher and response + development team after public disclosure can be addressed via the following:

VII. Continuous Improvement

  1. Response Team and developers should hold annual meetings to review the previous year's incidents

  2. Response Team or designated person(s) should give a brief presentation, including:

    • a. Areas of Gridcoin affected by the incidents
    • b. Any network downtime or monetary cost (if any) of the incidents
    • c. Ways in which the incidents could have been avoided (if any)
    • d. How effective this process was in dealing with the incidents
  3. After the presentation, Response Team and developers should discuss:

    • a. Potential changes to development processes to reduce future incidents
    • b. Potential changes to this process to improve future responses