Security Incident Handling Process


If you think you have found a security vulnerability, then please send an email to the Trusted Firmware security team at You may also use the project specific security team aliases here. These are private teams of security officers who will help verify the security vulnerability, develop and release a fix, and disclose the vulnerability details responsibly. The security teams are referred to from now on as “us/we/our”. We do our best to respond and fix any issues as soon as possible.

As with any bug, the more information you provide, the easier it is to diagnose and fix. If you already have a fix, please include it with your report, as that can speed up the process considerably. Any exploit code is very helpful. We may bring in extra help from area maintainers to understand and fix the vulnerability.

Please let us know your disclosure plans if you have any. This may affect our disclosure plan as described in the next section.

Please indicate any sensitive information you do not wish us to share. We reserve the right to share any information you provide with trusted third parties and eventually the public unless you request otherwise. We will credit you in any security advisory unless you request otherwise.

You may use this PGP/GPG key for encrypting the vulnerability information. This key is also available at and LDAP port 389 of the same server. The fingerprint for this key is:

54F8 6138 58DB 00F2 2EE7 D559 EB2C 1B71 C010 2B2B

If you would like replies to be encrypted, please provide your public key. Please note we cannot guarantee that encrypted information will remain encrypted when shared with trusted third parties.

If we consider the bug not to be a security vulnerability, we will inform you and direct the bug to the normal bug fixing process.


Our default security vulnerability disclosure plan is as follows. This may change if disclosure needs to be coordinated with the reporter or other stakeholders.

  1. For confirmed security vulnerabilities, we will develop a robust fix as soon as possible. During this time, we will only share information with the reporter, those needed to develop the fix and Especially Sensitive Stakeholders (ESSes). See the Trusted Stakeholder registration section for more information about ESSes and Trusted Stakeholders. If the fix is particularly difficult to implement, we may proceed to subsequent steps without a fix.

  2. After a robust fix becomes available, our preference is to publicly release it as soon as possible. We will automatically do this if the vulnerability is already publicly known.

    Security fixes should contain the minimum information required to fix the bug. We will usually publicly disclose the corresponding vulnerability details later, on the public disclosure date (see step 5 below).

    We may defer public release of the fix if the reporter requests it or we think the fix contains enough information for a skilled attacker to re-construct the exploit. In this case we will publicly release the fix on the public disclosure date. This will not prevent the fix from being shared with ESSes and Trusted Stakeholders before public disclosure (but see export control restriction below).

    We may also defer public release of the fix if an ESS requests it within 1 calendar day of being notified and we agree the criticality of the vulnerability requires more time. The ESS requested deferral period should be as short as possible, up to 7 calendar days after the fix becomes available, with an exceptional extension to 14 calendar days. The only valid reason for release deferral is to accommodate deployment of the fix by ESSes. If it is immediately clear that ESSes are unaffected by the vulnerability then we will skip this stage. This 0-14 day deferral is the primary embargo period.

    Due to export control restrictions, some Trusted Firmware projects may not be allowed to distribute the fix privately. For such projects, if an ESS requests it, we may allow ESSes a reasonable extension to the primary embargo period to develop and deploy their own fix. This period should be as short as possible and must always allow enough time for Trusted Stakeholders to develop and deploy their own fixes before public disclosure.

  3. After the primary embargo period, we will share the fix (where possible) and relevant vulnerability information with registered Trusted Stakeholders. We may defer fix release further if a Trusted Stakeholder requests it within 3 working days of being notified (Monday to Friday, in their time zone), and we agree the criticality of the vulnerability requires more time. The requested deferral period should be as short as possible, up to 7 calendar days after the Trusted Stakeholder is notified, with an exceptional extension to 14 days. The only valid reason for further release deferral is to accommodate deployment of the fix by a Trusted Stakeholder. This further 3-14 day deferral is the secondary embargo period.

    For Trusted Firmware projects that are not allowed to distribute the fix privately due to export control restrictions, if a Trusted Stakeholder requests it, we may allow Trusted Stakeholders a reasonable extension to the secondary embargo period to develop and deploy their own fix. This period should be as short as possible and must always complete before the public disclosure date. In this case the fix will be publicly released after the secondary embargo period.

  4. After fix implementation, we will consolidate details of the security vulnerability into a security advisory. This includes a CVE number and we will request one if not already done by the reporter. We will circulate drafts of the security advisory with the reporter, ESSes and Trusted Stakeholders if they contain significant updates to earlier notifications.

  5. At the agreed public disclosure date, by default 90 days after the vulnerability was reported, we will publicize the final security advisory and fix (if not already available) at This window from reporting to public disclosure is the public embargo period.

Handling embargoed information

On receipt of embargoed information, you must not disclose any of the provided information beyond the group of people in your organization that need to know about it. During the primary and secondary embargo periods, that group of people should be limited to those entrusted to assess the impact of the vulnerability on your organization and deploy fixes to your products. After the secondary embargo period but during the public embargo period, that group of people may be expanded in order to prepare your organization’s public response. The embargoed information must not be shared outside your organization during the public embargo period under any circumstances. It is permitted to point others to a public fix during an embargo period, as long as the vulnerability details are not leaked.

If you think another individual/organization requires access to the embargoed information, then please ask them to register as a Trusted Stakeholder. If you believe there has been a leak of embargoed information then please notify us immediately.

We welcome feedback on embargoed information at any time.

Trusted Stakeholder registration

The security team of each Trusted Firmware project maintains a private, vetted list of organizations and individuals who are considered Trusted Stakeholders of security vulnerabilities for that project. Trusted Stakeholders are organizations impacted by security vulnerabilities found in a Trusted Firmware project and thus need to be informed before public disclosure.

If you want to register as a Trusted Stakeholder, please contact the relevant security team alias(es) as listed here, providing the following information:

  1. Which Trusted Firmware project(s) you want to register for.

  2. A justification of why you should be on the list. That is, why you should know about security vulnerabilities and have access to security fixes before they are made public. For example, a valid reason is that your organization has deployed products using Trusted Firmware that may need to be patched.

  3. Your full name and a valid email address. This should be an organization email address where possible. We prefer individuals in each organization to coordinate their registration requests with each other and to provide us with an email alias managed by your organization instead of us managing a long list of individual addresses.

  4. Confirmation that you and the individuals in your organization will handle embargoed information responsibly as described in the Handling embargoed information section.

Where applicable, the project security teams also maintain an Especially Sensitive Stakeholder (ESS) list. This list is strictly limited to those organizations that use Trusted Firmware for large scale deployments providing bare-metal access on multi-tenancy systems, and organizations that supply Trusted Firmware to such deployments. You may use the same email address above to register for this list but in almost all cases we expect the Trusted Stakeholder list to be used instead.

Note, we reserve the right to deny registration or revoke membership to the stakeholders lists, for example if we have concerns about the confidentiality of embargoed information.