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Managing privately reported security vulnerabilities

Repository maintainers can manage security vulnerabilities that have been privately reported to them by security reseachers for repositories where private vulnerability reporting is enabled.

Who can use this feature

Anyone with admin permissions to a repository can see, review, and manage privately-reported vulnerabilities for the repository.

Owners and administrators of public repositories can enable private vulnerability reporting on their repositories. For more information, see "Configuring private vulnerability reporting for a repository."

About privately reporting a security vulnerability

Private vulnerability reporting makes it easy for security researchers to report vulnerabilities directly to you using a simple form.

When a security researcher reports a vulnerability privately, you are notified and can choose to either accept it, ask more questions, or reject it. If you accept the report, you're ready to collaborate on a fix for the vulnerability in private with the security researcher.

Managing security vulnerabilities that are privately reported

When a new vulnerability is privately reported on a repository where private vulnerability reporting is enabled, GitHub notifies repository maintainers and security managers if:

  • They're watching the repository for all activity.
  • They have notifications enabled for the repository.

For more information about configuring notification preferences, see "Configuring private vulnerability reporting for a repository."

  1. On GitHub.com, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Under the repository name, click Security. If you cannot see the "Security" tab, select the dropdown menu, and then click Security. Screenshot of a repository header showing the tabs. The "Security" tab is highlighted by a dark orange outline.

  3. In the left sidebar, under "Reporting", click Advisories.

  4. Click the advisory you want to review. An advisory that was reported privately has a status of Triage.

    Screenshot of a "Security Advisories" list.

  5. Carefully review the report, then choose how to proceed.

    • To collaborate on a patch in private, click Start a temporary private fork to create a place for further discussions with the contributor. This does not change the status of the proposed advisory from Triage.

    • To accept the reported vulnerability, click Accept and open as draft to accept the vulnerability report as a draft advisory on GitHub. If you choose this option:

      • This doesn't make the report public.
      • The report becomes a draft repository security advisory and you can work on it in the same way as any draft advisory that you create. For more information on security advisories, see "About repository security advisories."
    • To ask for more information, or to open a discussion with the reporter, you can comment on the advisory. Any comments are visible only to the reporter and to any collaborators on the advisory.

    • If you have enough information to determine that the problem the reporter describes is not a security risk, click Close security advisory. Where possible, you should add a comment explaining why you don't consider the report a security risk before you close the advisory.

      Screenshot showing the options available to the repository maintainer when reviewing an externally submitted vulnerability report.