Report a security vulnerability

The HSE takes the security of our web site seriously. If you believe you have found a vulnerability in the HSE web site, you can report it.

Vulnerability disclosure policy

We recommend reading this disclosure policy fully before you report any vulnerabilities, and act in compliance with it.

Please note that this policy does not provide any form of indemnity for any actions if they are either in breach of the law or of this policy. It does not provide an indemnity from the HSE or any third party.


This disclosure policy only applies to vulnerabilities in the HSE products and services under the following conditions:

  • ‘In scope’ vulnerabilities must be original, previously unreported, and not already discovered by internal procedures.
  • Volumetric vulnerabilities are not in scope - meaning that simply overwhelming a service with a high volume of requests is not in scope.
  • Reports of non-exploitable vulnerabilities, or reports indicating that our services do not fully align with 'best practice', for example missing security headers, are not in scope.
  • TLS configuration weaknesses, for example 'weak' cipher suite support or the presence of TLS1.0 support, are not in scope.
  • The policy applies to everyone, including for example the HSE staff, third party suppliers and general users of the HSE public services.


If you have discovered something you believe to be an ‘in-scope’ security vulnerability, first you should check the above details for more information about scope, then submit a report on this page.

In your submission, include details of:

  • The website or page where the vulnerability can be observed.
  • A brief description of the type of vulnerability, for example an 'XSS vulnerability'.

Your report should provide a benign, non-destructive, proof of exploitation. This helps to ensure that the report can be triaged quickly and accurately. It also reduces the likelihood of duplicate reports, or malicious exploitation of some vulnerabilities, such as sub-domain takeovers.

What to expect

After you have submitted your report, we will respond to your report within 5 working days and aim to triage your report within 10 working days. We’ll also keep you informed about our progress via HackerOne throughout the process if you have registered for an account.

Priority for bug fixes or mitigations is assessed by looking at the impact severity and exploit complexity. Vulnerability reports might take some time to triage or address. You are welcome to enquire on the status of the process but should avoid doing so more than once every 14 days.

When the reported vulnerability is resolved, or remediation work is scheduled, the Vulnerability Disclosure Team will notify you, and invite you to confirm that the solution covers the vulnerability adequately.


You must NOT:

  • Access unnecessary amounts of data. For example, 2 or 3 records is enough to demonstrate most vulnerabilities, such as an enumeration or direct object reference vulnerability.
  • Use high-intensity invasive or destructive technical security scanning tools to find vulnerabilities.
  • Violate the privacy of the HSE users, staff, contractors, services or systems. For example, by sharing, redistributing and/or not properly securing data retrieved from our systems or services.
  • Communicate any vulnerabilities or associated details using methods not described in this policy.
  • Modify data in the HSE systems or services.
  • Disrupt the HSE services or systems.
  • Social engineer, 'phish' or physically attack HSE staff or infrastructure.
  • Disclose any vulnerabilities in the HSE systems or services to 3rd parties or the public, prior to the HSE confirming that those vulnerabilities have been mitigated or rectified. However, this is not intended to stop you notifying a vulnerability to 3rd parties for whom the vulnerability is directly relevant. An example would be where the vulnerability being reported is in a 3rd party software library or framework. Details of the specific vulnerability as it applies to the HSE must not be referenced in such reports.

We ask you to securely delete any and all data retrieved during your research as soon as it is no longer required or within 1 month of the vulnerability being resolved, whichever occurs first.


This policy is designed to be compatible with common vulnerability disclosure good practice. It does not give you permission to act in any manner that is inconsistent with the law, or which might cause the HSE to be in breach of any of its legal obligations, including but not limited to:

  • The Computer Misuse Act (1990)
  • The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018
  • The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988)
  • The Official Secrets Act (1989)

HSE will not seek prosecution of any security researcher who reports any security vulnerability on a HSE service or system, where the researcher has acted in good faith and in accordance with this disclosure policy.

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Updated: 2024-04-23