Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service
February 26, 2021

Report any vulnerabilities to FMCS systems to security@fmcs.gov.


The Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS) is committed to ensuring the security of the American public by protecting their information. This policy is intended to give security researchers clear guidelines for conducting vulnerability discovery activities and to convey our preferences in how to submit discovered vulnerabilities to us.

This policy describes what systems and types of research are covered under this policy, how to send us vulnerability reports, and how long we ask security researchers to wait before publicly disclosing vulnerabilities in our systems.

We encourage you to contact us to report potential vulnerabilities in our systems.


FMCS will consider your research to be authorized if FMCS determines in its sole discretion that you have made a good faith effort to comply with this Policy during your security research. FMCS will work with you to understand and resolve the issue quickly. FMCS will not recommend or pursue legal action related to authorized research. Should legal action be initiated by a third party against you for authorized activities that were conducted in accordance with this policy, you may request documentation of the authorization via security@fmcs.gov. Reporters submitting vulnerabilities to FMCS, in so doing, waive any claims to compensation.


Under this policy, “research” means activities in which you:

  • Please do not use this mechanism to report trivial system faults, such as typos or user interface errors not resulting in a vulnerability.
  • Notify us as soon as possible after you discover a real or potential security issue.
  • Make every effort to avoid privacy violations, degradation of user experience, disruption to production systems, and destruction or manipulation of data.
  • FMCS believes that public disclosure in the absence of a readily available mitigation will increase risk to the FMCS Mission and as a result, FMCS requests that researchers refrain from sharing vulnerability reports with others for 90 days following the submission of the initial report, unless otherwise coordinated with FMCS.
  • Only use methods to the extent necessary to confirm a vulnerability’s presence.
  • Do not submit a high volume of low-quality reports.
  • Only collect data needed to justify your research.
    At the end of your research, you are to return all data to FMCS except the fact that the research occurred and the results that were communicated. Any data that is not returnable shall be deleted and such deletion communicated to FMCS.

Once you have established that a vulnerability exists or encounter any sensitive data (including personally identifiable information, financial information, confidential unclassified information, proprietary information, or trade secrets), you must stop your test, notify us immediately, and not disclose this data to anyone else. Sensitive data includes, but is not limited to, any information considered confidential because of its use in the mediation or other alternative dispute resolution process. If you have questions regarding what constitutes sensitive data, please reach out to security@fmcs.gov.

Test methods

The following test methods are not authorized:

  • Network denial of service (DoS or DDoS) tests or other tests that impair access to or damage a system or data.
  • Physical testing (e.g., office access, open doors, tailgating), social engineering (e.g., phishing, vishing), or any other non-technical vulnerability testing.
  • Do not use any known exploits to compromise or exfiltrate data, establish command line access and/or persistence, or use the exploit to pivot to other systems.
  • Full red-team penetration testing that involves unauthorized access to our servers.


This policy applies to all FMCS-managed systems and services that are accessible from the Internet. This includes the registered domain name ADR.gov.

Any service not expressly listed above, such as any connected services, are excluded from scope and are not authorized for testing. Additionally, vulnerabilities found in systems from our vendors fall outside of this policy’s scope and should be reported directly to the vendor according to their Disclosure Policy (if any). If you are not sure whether a system is in scope or not, contact us at security@fmcs.gov before starting your research (or at the security contact for the system’s domain name listed in the .gov WHOIS).

Though we develop and maintain other internet-accessible systems or services, we ask that active research and testing only be conducted on the systems and services covered by the scope of this document. If there is a particular system not in scope that you think merits testing, please contact us to discuss it first. We will increase the scope of this policy over time.

Reporting a vulnerability

Information submitted under this policy will be used for defensive purposes only – to mitigate or remediate vulnerabilities. If your findings include newly discovered vulnerabilities that affect all users of a product or service and not solely FMCS, we may share your report with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA.gov), where it will be handled under their coordinated vulnerability disclosure process. We will not share your name or contact information without express permission.

We accept vulnerability reports via security@fmcs.gov. Reports may be submitted anonymously. If you share contact information, we will acknowledge receipt of your report within 3 business days.

We do not support PGP-encrypted emails. For particularly sensitive information, submit through the CISA.gov coordinated vulnerability disclosure process. Particularly sensitive information would include, but not be limited to, classified information or social security numbers. If you have questions regarding what constitutes particularly sensitive data, please reach out to security@fmcs.gov.

What we would like to see from you

In order to help us triage and prioritize submissions, we recommend that your reports:

  • Describe the location the vulnerability was discovered and the potential impact of exploitation.
  • Offer a detailed description of the steps needed to reproduce the vulnerability (proof of concept scripts or screenshots are helpful).
  • Be in English, if possible.

What you can expect from us

When you choose to share your contact information with us, we commit to coordinating with you as openly and as quickly as possible.

  • Within 3 business days, we will acknowledge that your report has been received.
  • To the best of our ability, we will confirm the existence of the vulnerability to you and be as transparent as possible about what steps we are taking during the remediation process, including on issues or challenges that may delay resolution.
  • We will maintain an open dialogue to discuss issues.
  • FMCS does not provide payment to reporters for submitting vulnerabilities.


Questions regarding this policy may be sent to security@fmcs.gov.

Document Change History
Version 1.0
Date 2/26/2021
Description: First Issuance