Visible to the public "Zero-Knowledge Proofs in Vulnerability Disclosure"Conflict Detection Enabled

Cybersecurity researchers and software security analysts face several challenges in the disclosure process for software vulnerabilities. They are faced with an ethics versus efficacy dilemma in the realm of security bug reporting and sharing. Publicly revealing a vulnerability may get attention from the program's developers, thus resulting in a faster response. However, the public disclosure of a vulnerability could lead to legal repercussions for the security researcher. Public disclosure could also allow malicious actors to exploit the vulnerability before it is patched or fixed. On the other hand, sharing a vulnerability directly with the software maker is ethically sound but may not incite action as software makers are often hesitant or unwilling to engage with external security researchers. In addition, vulnerabilities directly disclosed to software makers often go overlooked. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Securing Information for Encrypted Verification and Evaluation (SIEVE) program aims to develop solutions to this problem using Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs), which are mathematically verifiable problem statements that can be applied to reason about software or systems. These proofs can be used publicly without revealing sensitive information. SIEVE focuses on the development of computer science theory and software that can enhance the expressivity of problem statements for which ZKPs are constructed while also making it easier to use the cryptographic method. In regard to vulnerability disclosure, ZKPs could allow a vulnerability researcher (the prover) to convince a software maker (the verifier) that they have information such as a bug or an exploit without having to disclose how they uncovered the information or revealing so much information that they ruin their chances of being rewarded. This article continues to discuss the challenges faced in vulnerability disclosure and the SIEVE program's exploration of using ZKPs in the vulnerability disclosure process.

Homeland Security News Wire reports "Zero-Knowledge Proofs in Vulnerability Disclosure"