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CPA Canada’s vulnerability disclosure policy

We aim to ensure a consistent and secure manner for you to communicate suspected CPA Canada vulnerabilities. Find information on how to report a vulnerability.

1. Introduction

This vulnerability disclosure policy aims to ensure a consistent and secure manner in which individuals (e.g., security researchers) may communicate suspected CPA Canada vulnerabilities. We are committed to continually improving our organization's security and, more specifically, our information assets' security (e.g., websites, networks and services offered online).

1.1. Scope: This vulnerability disclosure policy applies to any vulnerabilities you consider reporting to CPA Canada (the "Organization").
1.2. Compliance: We recommend reading this vulnerability disclosure policy fully before you report a vulnerability and always acting in compliance with it.
1.3. CPA Canada’s position: We value and thank those who take the time and effort to report security vulnerabilities according to this policy. However, we do not offer monetary rewards for vulnerability disclosures.

2. Reporting

2.1. If you suspect that you have found a security vulnerability, please submit your report to us using the following email: soc at cpacanada dot ca. 
2.2. In your report, please include details of:

2.2.1. The website, IP or page where the vulnerability can be observed.
2.2.2. A brief description of the type of vulnerability, for example; “XSS vulnerability”.
2.2.3. 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.

3. What to expect

3.1. After you have submitted your report, CPA Canada’s Cybersecurity team will respond to your report within five working days and aim to triage your report within 10 working days. We’ll also aim to keep you informed of our progress.
3.2. 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 inquire on the status but avoid doing so more than once every 14 days. This allows our teams to focus on the remediation
3.3. We will notify you when the reported vulnerability is remediated, and you may be invited to confirm that the solution covers the vulnerability adequately.
3.4. Once your reported vulnerability has been resolved, we welcome requests to disclose your report. We’d like to unify guidance to affected users, so please do continue to coordinate public release with us.

4. Guidance

4.1. You must NOT:

4.1.1. Break any applicable law or regulations.
4.1.2. Access unnecessary, excessive or significant amounts of data.
4.1.3. Modify data in the Organization's systems or services.
4.1.4. Use high-intensity invasive or destructive scanning tools to find vulnerabilities.
4.1.5. Attempt or report any form of denial of service, e.g. overwhelming a service with a high volume of requests.
4.1.6. Disrupt the Organization's services or systems.
4.1.7. Submit reports detailing non-exploitable vulnerabilities, or reports indicating that the services do not fully align with “best practice”, for example, missing security headers.
4.1.8. Submit reports detailing TLS configuration weaknesses, for example, “weak” cipher suite support or the presence of TLS1.0 support.
4.1.9. Communicate any vulnerabilities or associated details other than by means described in the published security.txt.
4.1.10. Social engineer, ‘phish’ or physically attack the Organization's staff or infrastructure.
4.1.11. Demand financial compensation in order to disclose any vulnerabilities.

4.2. You must:

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

5. 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 Organization or partner Organizations to be in breach of any legal obligations.

6. Recognition

On behalf of the IT security industry, CPA Canada would like to thank the following people for making a responsible disclosure to us and recognize their contribution to increasing the security standards:

  • Ayush Pandey