Bug bounty/vulnerability disclosure platforms are used by companies to coordinate the reporting, triaging and in some case, rewarding, of security vulnerabilities. In many platforms the various programs are not always public – some may be public, some maybe unlisted but public, some may be private and some may be invite-only. In this post we outline how we found a set of public programs that were not listed on the platform site but were findable via Google searches.
While most platforms host the program information, policies and submission pages on their own sites, their customers may occasionally want to embed or host a particular program on the site owned by the customer or one that is agnostic, not the platform. For these uses cases, some platforms have an embedding feature which allows customers to embed a submission form for vulnerabilities within the customer owned website or host it via a website that doesn’t appear to be connected to the platform vendor. Here is documentation for some of the platforms:
The problem is that if a company ends up embedding a form, it will get indexed by Google and can be found via a Google search. The trick is to look for something unique in the text of the form. Here is for example a vulnerability reporting form for Walmart, provided by BugCrowd – as you can see it says “Powered by BugCrowd”
If you check the BugCrowd public list of programs, WalMart will not be listed:
However, it may appear on the list such as the one from Disclose.IO:
Google Dorking Other BugCrowd Embedded Forms
Now if you put the text from the form into Google as follows, you can find a bunch of other ones as well:
"powered by bugcrowd" -site:bugcrowd.com
These do not appear in the BugCrowd public list, and many of them are not in the Disclose.IO list. Example:
What About HackerOne?
For HackerOne, a blog post shows an example of a form which looks very similar to a standard one.
We tried Googling for the following query got no results:
"powered by hackerone" "submit vulnerability report"
Eventually, we just Google for the following and got many unrelated results:
"submit vulnerability report"
Among those, we were able to find a single embedded form from HackerOne for a non-public program. Because HackerOne uses an image for their “Powered By” message, it is probably harder to find or maybe not that many programs use the HackerOne forms yet 🙂 [Based on some additional feedback it looks like HackerOne forms are generated dynamically and may not be indexable by Google, see Lyft as an example]
What About Synack?
While Synack doesn’t operate any public programs, they do offer a managed disclosure process which is hosted by “responsibledisclosure.com”. A simple Google Search against that site shows a bunch of programs (these are listed in Disclose.io):
We haven’t explored other platforms but feel free to do so yourself 🙂
Responses from the Platforms
This issue was reported to the three platforms listed above, here are their responses:
“We don’t guarantee that all public programs are listed directly on Bugcrowd.com – a number of companies leverage our Embedded Submission Form to host a Bugcrowd submission form (like you’re finding via these searches) directly on their own sites. Even though these programs aren’t directly advertised on our Programs page, they’re not meant to be considered private/secret. It’s up to the companies choosing to use this form to decide how and where they display it.
Nothing is being “leaked,” as any companies who do choose to run private programs that include an intake via our Embedded Submission Form understand what they’re doing: The Embedded Submission Form integration enables you to host a submission form from your own website rather than through Bugcrowd. This integration provides a streamlined workflow so that researchers can easily submit vulnerability reports directly to you, while allowing you to continue to manage and track submissions through Crowdcontrol.
You can manage and track submissions through Crowdcontrol for private and public programs. These are companies choosing to host our ESF on public/indexed pages, so the fact that they’re not listed at https://bugcrowd.com/programs is exactly what you’d expect.”
“This feature is not intended to be private but to help ease programs’ engagement with the larger hacker community. We do caution programs, prior to setting up the feature, to understand that their program will no longer be private if the form is exposed in a public way. Beyond that, the program benefits from our normal private experience, and we do not include other call outs or invitations to the programs on HackerOne unless explicitly requested.
Some companies, like Punchh, use this feature to allow researchers to submit reports to their vulnerability disclosure program via their own website.”
“Although we do not advertise our Responsible Disclosure programs, they are publicly accessible and not considered to be private information”
2019-02-20: Reported to Synack and rejected
2019-02-22: Reported to BugCrowd and rejected
2019-05-02: Draft blog post shared with HackerOne, Synack and BugCrowd
2019-05-03: Comments received from platform vendors
2019-05-04: Blog post published