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Subject[PATCH 4.19 017/110] Documentation/security-bugs: Clarify treatment of embargoed information
4.19-stable review patch.  If anyone has any objections, please let me know.


From: Will Deacon <>

commit 14fdc2c5318ae420e68496975f48dc1dbef52649 upstream.

The Linux kernel security team has been accused of rejecting the idea of
security embargoes. This is incorrect, and could dissuade people from
reporting security issues to us under the false assumption that the
issue would leak prematurely.

Clarify the handling of embargoed information in our process

Co-developed-by: Ingo Molnar <>
Acked-by: Kees Cook <>
Acked-by: Peter Zijlstra <>
Acked-by: Laura Abbott <>
Signed-off-by: Will Deacon <>
Signed-off-by: Ingo Molnar <>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>

Documentation/admin-guide/security-bugs.rst | 45 +++++++++++++++++-----------
1 file changed, 28 insertions(+), 17 deletions(-)

--- a/Documentation/admin-guide/security-bugs.rst
+++ b/Documentation/admin-guide/security-bugs.rst
@@ -26,23 +26,34 @@ information is helpful. Any exploit cod
be released without consent from the reporter unless it has already been
made public.

+Disclosure and embargoed information

-The goal of the Linux kernel security team is to work with the bug
-submitter to understand and fix the bug. We prefer to publish the fix as
-soon as possible, but try to avoid public discussion of the bug itself
-and leave that to others.
-Publishing the fix may be delayed when the bug or the fix is not yet
-fully understood, the solution is not well-tested or for vendor
-coordination. However, we expect these delays to be short, measurable in
-days, not weeks or months. A release date is negotiated by the security
-team working with the bug submitter as well as vendors. However, the
-kernel security team holds the final say when setting a timeframe. The
-timeframe varies from immediate (esp. if it's already publicly known bug)
-to a few weeks. As a basic default policy, we expect report date to
-release date to be on the order of 7 days.
+The security list is not a disclosure channel. For that, see Coordination
+Once a robust fix has been developed, our preference is to release the
+fix in a timely fashion, treating it no differently than any of the other
+thousands of changes and fixes the Linux kernel project releases every
+However, at the request of the reporter, we will postpone releasing the
+fix for up to 5 business days after the date of the report or after the
+embargo has lifted; whichever comes first. The only exception to that
+rule is if the bug is publicly known, in which case the preference is to
+release the fix as soon as it's available.
+Whilst embargoed information may be shared with trusted individuals in
+order to develop a fix, such information will not be published alongside
+the fix or on any other disclosure channel without the permission of the
+reporter. This includes but is not limited to the original bug report
+and followup discussions (if any), exploits, CVE information or the
+identity of the reporter.
+In other words our only interest is in getting bugs fixed. All other
+information submitted to the security list and any followup discussions
+of the report are treated confidentially even after the embargo has been
+lifted, in perpetuity.

@@ -68,7 +79,7 @@ may delay the bug handling. If a reporte
assigned ahead of public disclosure, they will need to contact the private
linux-distros list, described above. When such a CVE identifier is known
before a patch is provided, it is desirable to mention it in the commit
-message, though.
+message if the reporter agrees.

Non-disclosure agreements

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