[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 52 (Friday, March 19, 2021)]
[Pages 14944-14945]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-05767]



[Docket Number DHS-2021-0009]

Agency Information Collection Activities: Vulnerability Discovery 
Program, 1601-0028

AGENCY: Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

ACTION: 60-Day notice and request for comments; extension without 
change of a currently approved collection, 1601-0028


SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security, will submit the following 
Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES: Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until May 18, 2021. 
This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.1

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number Docket 
# DHS-2021-0009, at:
    [cir] Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Please follow the instructions for submitting comments.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number Docket # DHS-2021-0009. All comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://ww.regulations.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Security vulnerabilities, defined in section 
102(17) of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, are any 
attribute of hardware, software, process, or procedure that could 
enable or facilitate the defeat of a security control. Security 
vulnerability mitigation is a process starting with discovery of the

[[Page 14945]]

vulnerability leading to applying some solution to resolve the 
vulnerability. There is constantly a search for security 
vulnerabilities within information systems, from individuals or nation 
states wishing to bypass security controls to gain invaluable 
information, to researchers seeking knowledge in the field of cyber 
security. Bypassing such security controls in the DHS and other Federal 
Agencies information systems can cause catastrophic damage including 
but not limited to loss in Personally Identifiable Information (PII), 
sensitive information gathering, and data manipulation.
    Pursuant to section 101 of the Strengthening and Enhancing Cyber-
capabilities by Utilizing Risk Exposure Technology Act, (commonly known 
as the SECURE Technologies Act) individuals, organizations, and/or 
companies may submit any discovered security vulnerabilities found 
associated with the information system of any Federal agency. This 
collection would be used by these individuals, organizations, and/or 
companies who choose to submit a discovered vulnerability found 
associated with the information system of any Federal agency.
    Specifically, DHS and Federal cybersecurity agencies are working to 
address the recently discovered SolarWinds hack on Federal agencies and 
organizations around the world. While DHS had previously obtained 
approval to collect this information on its own behalf, recent cyber 
attacks exploiting vulnerabilities have exemplified the need to have 
this capability government-wide. In 2020, a major cyberattack, 
nicknamed the SolarWinds cyberattack, by a group backed by a foreign 
government penetrated thousands of organizations globally including 
multiple parts of the United States federal government, leading to a 
series of data breaches. The cyberattack and data breach were reported 
to be among the worst cyber-espionage incidents ever suffered by the 
U.S., due to the sensitivity and high profile of the targets and the 
long duration (eight to nine months) in which the hackers had access. 
Affected organizations worldwide included NATO, the U.K. government, 
the European Parliament, Microsoft and others
    Public Law 116-283, Sec. 1705 (which amended 44 U.S.C. 3553) 
permits extensive sharing of information regarding cybersecurity and 
the protection of information and information systems from 
cybersecurity risks between Federal Agencies covered by the Federal 
Information Security Modernization Act and the Department of Homeland 
Security. This unique authority makes DHS well positioned to host the 
approval of this information collection on behalf of other Federal 
    DHS is requesting pursuant to 44 US Code 3509, that the information 
collection be designated for any Federal agencies ability to utilize 
the standardized DHS online form to collect their own agency's 
vulnerability information and post the information on their own agency 
    The form will include the following essential information:

 Vulnerable host(s)
 Necessary information for reproducing the security 
 Remediation or suggestions for remediation of the 
 Potential impact on host, if not remediated

    This form will allow Federal agencies to complete the following 
actions; (1) allow the individuals, organizations, and/or companies who 
discover vulnerabilities in the information systems to report their 
findings to the agency, and (2) provide the agencies initial insight 
into any newly discovered vulnerabilities, as well as zero-day 
vulnerabilities in order to mitigate the security issues prior to 
malicious actors acting upon the vulnerability for malicious intent.
    The form will also benefit researchers and will provide a safe and 
lawful method to practice and discover new cyber methods to discover 
the vulnerabilities. It will provide the same benefit to Federal 
agencies and will promote the enhancement of Federal information system 
security policies.
    Respondents will be able to submit their information directly to 
the agency in which they would like to report a vulnerability. Federal 
Agencies will provide the form electronically via their agencies 
    The information collected does not have an impact on small business 
or other small entities.
    The collection of this information related to the discovery of 
security vulnerabilities by individuals, organizations, and/or 
companies is needed to fulfill the congressional mandate in Section 101 
of the SECURE Technologies Act related to creating Vulnerability 
Disclosure Policies. In addition, without the ability to collect 
information on newly discovered security vulnerabilities associated 
with Federal agency information systems, Federal agencies will rely 
solely on the internal security personnel and/or the discovery through 
a post occurrence breach of security controls.
    There are no assurances of confidentiality provide. Any PII that is 
collected will be for the sole purpose of feedback and dialogue. 
Federal Agencies will ensure the collection of information is covered 
by a Systems of Record Notice and will display a Privacy Notice to the 
    There are no changes to the information being collected.
    The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in 
comments which:
    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submissions of responses.


    Agency: Department of Homeland Security, (DHS)
    Title: Vulnerability Discovery Program
    OMB Number: 1601-0028
    Frequency: On Occasion
    Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Government
    Number of Respondents: 3,000
    Estimated Time per Respondent: 1 Hour
    Total Burden Hours: 3,000

Robert Dorr,
Executive Director, Business Management Directorate.
[FR Doc. 2021-05767 Filed 3-18-21; 8:45 am]