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Vulnerabilities / Threats

3/30/2020
03:45 PM
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HackerOne Drops Mobile Voting App Vendor Voatz

Bug bounty platform provider cited "Voatz's pattern of interactions with the research community" in its decision to halt the app vendor's vuln disclosure program on HackerOne.

Mobile voting application vendor Voatz has been dismissed from HackerOne's bug bounty program platform, according to a report on CyberScoop.

Voatz — whose mobile voting app used in limited elections in a handful of states, including West Virginia and Colorado — has been under intense scrutiny over security concerns, and recently published studies by MIT and Trail of Bits uncovered significant security weaknesses in the app.

While security experts long have dismissed mobile voting as inherently risky, proponents of mobile-voting have maintained that the apps and process are more secure and private, for example, than the standard practice of sending PDF-based ballots via unencrypted email to military personnel overseas.

Voatz recently had updated its bug bounty policy on HackerOne to say that it could not "guarantee safe harbor" for researchers who discover flaws in its software under the program, CyberScoop said in its report.

"After evaluating Voatz's pattern of interactions with the research community, we decided to terminate the program on the HackerOne platform," a HackerOne spokesperson said in the CyberScoop report. "We partner with organizations that prioritize acting in good faith towards the security researcher community and providing adequate access to researchers for testing."

Voatz plans to kick off a new bug bounty program, it said.

See the full article here.

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emmawatson02020
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emmawatson02020,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/2/2020 | 4:38:04 AM
Reply
Such a nice post.. I appreciate you...
Ppooo
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Ppooo,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/31/2020 | 10:14:12 AM
Two problems
There are two problems here.  One is that Voatz was acting in bad faith and attacking the researchers' motive.  Two is that HackerOne does not prevent abuse of scope/criticality classification by its members. 

In this example, Voatz classified the bug as out of scope, even though it was later reclassified.  By its initial classification, Voatz was exempted from any obligation to fix it, but the submitter was still bound to HackerOne's NDA.  That is a loophole that HackerOne needs to fix.

If a bug is truly not in scope, and the vendor does not plan to fix within a normal disclosure period, or at least show good faith progress on resolving, then the researcher should be free to disclose it on their normal timeline, and not be bound by an NDA.

There have been numerous examples of security researchers being burned by this.  They discover something they think is serious, they submit to HackerOne, the vendor disagrees with the seriousness, the researcher discloses over HackerOne's objections, the bug is only then reclassified and addressed by the vendor due to public pressure.  Meanwhile, because the researcher violated HackerOne's NDA, their reputation is harmed.

HackerOne must show allegiance to the researchers, not the vendors.  This loophole must be fixed.
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