Vulnerability disclosure policy

How to report a suspected Scottish Government website security vulnerability. 

Policy statement

This vulnerability disclosure policy applies to any vulnerabilities you are considering reporting to us (the “Organisation”). We recommended reading this vulnerability disclosure policy fully before you report a vulnerability and always act in compliance with it.

We value 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.


If you believe you have found a security vulnerability, please fill out the vulnerability reporting form on the HackerOne platform.

In your report please include details of:

  • the website, IP address or page where the vulnerability can be observed
  • a brief description of the type of vulnerability, for example; “XSS vulnerability”
  • steps to reproduce. These should be 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 within 5 working days and aim to triage your report within 10 working days. We’ll 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’d like to unify guidance to affected users, so please do continue to coordinate public release with us.


You must not:

  • break any applicable law or regulations
  • access unnecessary, excessive or significant amounts of data
  • modify data in the Organisation’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 Organisation’s services or systems
  • submit reports detailing TLS configuration weaknesses, for example “weak” cipher suite support or the presence of TLS 1.0 support
  • communicate any vulnerabilities or associated details other than by means described in the published security.txt
  • social engineer, ‘phish’ or physically attack the Organisation’s staff 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 Organisation’s users, staff, 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).


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 organisation or partner organisations to be in breach of any of its legal obligations. However if legal action is initiated by a third party against you and you have complied with this policy, we can take steps to make it known that your actions were conducted in compliance with this policy.

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