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Re: Disclosure of vulns and its legal aspects...
From: "Lee Lawson" <leejlawson () gmail com>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 09:14:39 +0100

In terms of prior permission, you would need written permission by the
web site owners.  This written permission should not be an electronic
copy, at least in the UK.  UK law does not recognise electronic
documentation, such as e-mails, as a true representation of an
original document.  The original document in question is the owners
handwritten signature, that makes it a real agreement.

I would personally create an anoymous email account and send them some
information stating that you are a penetration tester that 'happened'
upon a possible security flaw in their website, but because of the
state of fear that some unenlightened organisations have about this
type of situation, you wish to remain anonymous at this point.  Then
explain that if they are open to increasing the security of their
website, you will gladly analyse the security flaw further and give
them full disclosure, on the basis that you will be given written
permission prior to continuing further.


2 cents - deposited.
On 5/30/07, James Wilburn <jwilburn () jameswilburn com> wrote:
With the number of horror stories about disclosing vulnerabilities to large
companies, I would tread lightly.  If it was a small company or personal
website they would probably thank you, this is not the case with the larger
companies.

As far as legality, I don't know.  But I was always thought "testing some
websites as a personal research/leisure" without the owners permission can
land you in a world of hurt if they have a legal team.


-----Original Message-----
From: listbounce () securityfocus com [mailto:listbounce () securityfocus com] On
Behalf Of Dark Cold Ice
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 5:12 PM
To: pen-test () securityfocus com; security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: Disclosure of vulns and its legal aspects...

Hi all,

It was earlier today whilst testing some websites as a personal
research/leisure time that i found a quite critical bug in a major
computer related website which will not be disclosured until all the
legal aspects of the disclosure process itself are dealt with.
After detecting the aforementioned vulnerability i was, like many have
been before, "jailed" between the decisions of reporting it or not, it
didn't take me long to decide to report it to the vendor as the flaw
itself was on it's website... My first step and only one so far was to
write the vendor the typical "praxis" e-mail saying that there MIGHT
be a vulnerability SOMEWHERE on their website and that i would like
carte blanche to investigate a bit more about it. I am now stuck with
3 thoughts, first of all, if the answer is no ( most common perhaps)
the vendor will be losing its chance to know where and what flaw is
it... will i be stuck with that and not be able to publicize it to the
security community?
Second thought, if the vendor says yes, i will report them the
vulnerability but, what entitles me the right to do it legally... a
simple e-mail would be enough perhaps...
Third and last thought, if they indeed agree to give me the chance to
test and report them the vulnerability i will only be entitled to
publicize it once solved, but even then, will it be legal to make a
full disclosure?

Thank you all in advance,

Darkcoldice

PS: What would the difference be between the US and UK laws on that
final aspect?

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--
Lee J Lawson
leejlawson () gmail com

"Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day; set a man on fire,
and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."

"Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur."

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