Established in 2016 by the Secretary of Defense, the Vulnerability Disclosure Program (VDP) operates to strengthen the security of the DoD Information Network (DoDIN) by providing an additional layer to the defense-in-depth cybersecurity strategy.
VDP Overview

The mission of the DoD VDP is to function as the single focal point for receiving vulnerability reports and interacting with crowd-sourced cybersecurity researchers supporting the DoDIN.1 This improves network defenses and enhances mission assurance by embracing a previously overlooked, yet indispensable, resource: private-sector white hat researchers. In January 2021, the DoD VDP scope was officially expanded from public-facing websites to all publicly accessible information systems throughout the DoD. This broadens the protection for the DoD attack surface and offers a safe harbor for researchers while providing more asset and technology security. The success of the program relies solely on the expertise and support of the security researcher community, and the program’s success contributes to the overall security of the DoD.

DoDIN information technologies, services, and systems provide critical capabilities to all military service members, their families, veterans, DoD civilians, and contractors. Ultimately, VDP will drive an increase in the cyber hygiene of the DoDIN, with the objective of ensuring that the DoD can accomplish its mission of defending the United States of America.

1 DODI 8531.01 DoD Vulnerability Management Section. 2.11

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Defense Industrial Base Vulnerability Disclosure Program (DIB-VDP) Pilot
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VDP Policy & Reporting
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VDP Capabilities
The DoD Vulnerability Disclosure Program:

• As a key component of the National Cyber Strategy, Pillar II, promotes full-lifecycle cybersecurity through the use of coordinated vulnerability disclosure, crowdsourced testing, and risk assessments that improve resiliency ahead of exploitation or attack

• Enhances the partnership between DoD and the computer security researcher community, building a positive feedback loop to enhance the security of the DoD through the speedy discovery and remediation of vulnerabilities

• Reduces the elapsed time from discovery of a vulnerability to notification of the system owner to successful mitigation of the vulnerability

• Provides an open channel and legal safe harbor for the discoverer of the vulnerability to report it to DoD

• Facilitates the National Defense Strategy LOE “Build a More Lethal Force” by increasing the resilience of DoD cyberspace assets

• Aligns with ISO 29147:2018 and ISO 30111:2019