Security Sheriff

Important Links

Chrome Open Security Bugs dashboard, go/chrome-security-bugs.

Vulnerability Severity Guidelines.

Security Labels.

Current Sheriffs.

Sheriff Handoff Log.

You might also like the HOWTO: Be A Security Sheriff deck.

The Chrome Security FAQ, Extensions Security FAQ, and Service Worker Security FAQ include commonly-raised questions about security and what is or is not considered a security bug. When triaging new bugs, you may want to reference these to see if there's an established stance.

What Is A Security Sheriff Or Marshal?

A security sheriff (as well as a security marshal) is a member of a rotation that occurs in 1-week time slots, starting on Tuesdays and ending the following Monday. All sheriffs and marshals are Googlers and so some links on this page might not be externally accessible (or indeed locked down to just Chrome Security Googlers).

Here is the rotation schedule.

Sheriffs and marshals ensure that all incoming security issues are triaged quickly and correctly. We aim to have every bug triaged and assigned within two business days (preferably one). This does not include weekends, but please ensure you leave a clear queue before the weekend (i.e. on Friday, unless there is a holiday) and check first thing after the weekend (i.e. on Monday morning, unless there is a holiday).

When Am I The Security Sheriff Or Marshal?

You should get a calendar invite. Please accept it to acknowledge. If you need to swap shifts, ask around for a volunteer and then just update the rotation sheet and wait 10 minutes for the calendar invites to be updated.

I'm The Security Sheriff Or Marshal. What Do I Do?

Each week has a sheriff and marshal, and during their rotation both have various important responsibilities:


  • Look at every incoming security bug report on the dashboard. Ensure each is accurately triaged, and actively progressing towards getting fixed.
  • Don't forget to fully triage the low severity bugs. Once a bug is labeled with Security_Severity-Low , it disappears from the first sheet and may slip under your radar.
  • Keep the Sheriff Handoff Log up to date.
  • Shout for help if the incoming bug rate is too high (suggested vocal exercises). The first person to ask is the marshal.
  • Make sure all new bug reports are triaged completely. That means no red cells on the top of the dashboard. Double-check that OS flags are set properly. For most of the bugs, typically more than one OS is affected, but the dashboard will not highlight it in red.
  • Stay sharp, keep in shape (hand-stand pushups are standard for the sheriff), and remember you may be called upon during emergencies.


  • Ensure that all incoming queries to the,, and lists get a reply (by someone; not necessarily the marshal themselves). See go/chrome-security-emails for a dashboard.
    • Note: external emails will always come in on or, as is a Google-only list, but all need to be triaged.
    • When triaging an email to be handled off of the list, make sure to bcc: the list that it arrived on, so that other people including future marshals can see that it has been handled.
    • Some of these emails are requests for inclusion of third party code. By the time you hand over to the next Marshal, please ensure these are either completed or have been acknowledged by some other owner. If not, you may need to do them yourself. Please see How to do Chrome Third-Party Security Reviews for hints.
  • Look at the open security bug reports and check that progress is occurring. This does not apply to the new bug reports (these are handled by the sheriff). The rule of thumb is if there is any red cell on the dashboard, it needs your attention: that especially includes the “last updated” column. (Our severity guidelines contain the expected duration for shipping fixes, but remember, to get a fix to all users in - say - 60 days may require us to land a fix in a week or two). Hints:
    • Don't just add a comment to the bug: sometimes they can disappear into spam. (Although a hand-crafted, meaningful comment can be effective).
    • Contact via chat or e-mail (ideally, also comment on the bug so other marshals can see you did so).
    • CC more people!
    • Think about what you can do to unblock the bug. What would you do next? Perhaps you can bring in different experts, suggest a different way to reproduce the bug, or even write a fuzzer? Sometimes your security perspective can really help engineering see a different way forward.
    • Consider whether it's better for you to make meaningful steps forward on ten bugs than to add ignorable nag messages to twenty bugs.
    • You can't possibly hope to meaningfully move all bugs forward. As a rule of thumb, perhaps expect to spend a solid ten hours progressing bugs during your shift.
    • Use the ‘last updated’ column to avoid duplicating the work of the previous marshal.
  • Stay sharp, keep in shape (finger exercises are standard for the marshal), and remember you may be called upon during emergencies.

Life Of A Security Bug

Do as much as you can for the week to triage, shepherd, and wrap up open security bugs. What follows are the details of what that entails, but it practically means turning all the red cells in the dashboard to green. If you're ever stuck or in doubt, ask for help on #chrome-security! or the Chrome Security Chat.

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Diagnose The Issue

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  • If the report is invalid, remove the Restrict-View-SecurityTeam label and mark it WontFix.
  • If the report is a duplicate, mark it Duplicate. If the issue this is a duplicate of is public, remove the Restrict-View-SecurityTeam label.
  • If the report is primarily a privacy issue, send it to the privacy team:
    • Add the Privacy component so that it enters their triage queue.
    • Change Type-Bug-Security to Type-Bug.
    • CC any security team members, including yourself, who may be interested in the privacy issue.
      • Change the Restrict-View-SecurityTeam label to Restrict-View-ChromePrivacy.
      • Note that security team members don't automatically have privacy bug access, so this will probably make the issue inaccessible to you.
  • If the report is asking about why something is or is not on the Safe Browsing list:
    • Close the bug and request the reporter submit the URL to SafeBrowsing.
    • See below for reporting URLs to SafeBrowsing.
  • If the report is a potentially valid bug but is not a security vulnerability:
    • remove the Restrict-View-SecurityTeam label. If necessary, add one of the other Restrict-View-? labels:
      • Restrict-View-Google if this is a crash report.
      • Restrict-View-EditIssue if the bug can be abused (e.g. denial of service)
      • Change Type-Bug-Security label to Type-Bug (or whatever Type-? is appropriate).
    • Add appropriate component or CCs to ensure it does get triaged.
    • Add the Security component or the Team-Security-UX label if the security team should still track the issue (e.g. security features).
  • If the report doesn't have enough information, ask the reporter for more information, add the Needs-Feedback label and wait for 24 hours for a response.
  • The security bug template asks reporters to attach files directly, not in zip or other archives, and not hosted at an external resource (e.g. Google Cloud Storage). If the report mentions an online demo hosted somewhere, make sure the reporters attach the source code for the demo as well.
  • If the bug is a security bug, but is only applicable to Chrome OS:
    • The Chrome OS Security team now has their own sheriffing rotation. To get bugs into their triage queue, just set OS to the single value of “Chrome”. No other steps or labels are needed.
    • If you need to ping or ask about Chrome OS bug, ask their current sheriff.
  • If the report smells like a vulnerability, keep going.

Verify And Label The Bug

Step 1. Reproduce legitimate-sounding issues.

Ideally, sheriffs should reproduce each bug before triaging, but being efficient is also important. It's fine to delegate reproducing bugs in the following cases:

  • A bug comes from an automated infrastructure (such as ClusterFuzz or Vomit).
  • A bug comes from a reporter with a solid track record of vulnerabilities (e.g. prolific external researchers or Google Project Zero team).
  • A bug requires a particular device that you don‘t have available, or any other environment which you don’t have ready but a potential code owner would have.

Mention explicitly in your comment that you didn't reproduce a bug before assigning it to someone else.

A few components have their own triage processes or points of contact who can help.

  • V8 ClusterFuzz bugs can be assigned to the V8 ClusterFuzz Sheriff for triage. Note that V8 CHECK failure crashes can have security implications, so don't triage it yourself and instead assign it to V8 ClusterFuzz Sheriff. They can make an informed decision on whether it is a security vulnerability or not and whether it is safe to strip the security tags (Type=Bug-Security, Restrict-View-SecurityTeam).
  • V8 non-ClusterFuzz bugs shouldn't be assigned to the V8 ClusterFuzz sheriff. Instead, Googlers should refer to the V8 security bug triage instructions for lists of component owners.
  • Skia bugs can be assigned to Be careful while triaging these! The place where we‘re crashing isn’t necessarily the place where the bug was introduced, so blame may be misleading. Skia fuzzing bugs can be assigned to, as Skia is heavily fuzzed on OSS-Fuzz and some issues reported in Chromium are already known or even fixed upstream.
  • URL spoofing issues, especially related to RTL or IDNs? See go/url-spoofs for a guide to triaging these.
  • SQLite bugs can be assigned to mek@. CC drhsqlite@ for upstream issues.

Note that even when you are handing off triage to another team or point of contact, it is your responsibility to ensure that the Security_Severity and FoundIn fields are set as soon as possible (and definitely before the end of your sheriffing shift). Work with your point of contact to set these. For instance, you may want to set initial/provisional values for these fields and ask them whether it matches their understanding.

Tips for reproducing bugs:

Step 2. Assess the severity.

See the severity guidelines. If it's a critical vulnerability, act quick! We aim to get users patched in < 30 days. Remember that if something requires an unusual configuration or complicated user interaction, the severity rating should be lowered.

Bug chains are typically composed of several individual security bugs and should be split into a new bug for each potential fix required, so this allows each team to work on fixing their part of the chain. In cases like this, leave the main bug as the severity/priority of the full chain, and mark child bugs as being blockers of the parent bug each with their own separate severity. Each child bug can have its own priority. Examples of this in action are issue 352369 and issue 453937.

Even after initial triage, re-assess the severity while you're looking at a security bug update: does it have new information in the bug that could change the assessment? Be especially on the lookout for Highs that are really Criticals, and Lows that are really Mediums (make sure to account for process types and sandbox boundaries).

For V8 issues, it can be hard to identify the correct security severity. Always set the severity to High unless there's strong evidence of an obvious mitigation. Please add the Security_Needs_Attention-Severity label alongside the regular Security_Severity-* label. If the bug is not exploitable, or is mitigated, the V8 team will reduce the security severity (to avoid unnecessary risk of merging the bug into stable branches).

If an issue is found that can't affect any users running a default configuration of Chrome (e.g. an issue in code guarded by a command-line flag that is off by default), the Security_Severity-* label should still be set as if the issue is affecting users running a default configuration of Chrome (but see the next section about FoundIn and Security_Impact-None).

Step 3. Set FoundIn

Identify the earliest affected branch (Extended Stable, Stable, Beta or Head) and set the corresponding FoundIn label (for example FoundIn-66 if the extended stable milestone is 66 and you‘ve confirmed it’s reproducible on M66). If you reproduced the bug with ClusterFuzz, it should do this on your behalf.

If you performed a bisection or were provided one with the commit that introduced the problem, you can check which milestone has that commit by navigating to

Sometimes Extended Stable is the same milestone as Stable; sometimes it differs. If in doubt about the currently active milestones, check ChromiumDash. (It‘s fine to just check the Windows platform, via that link - there’s no need to look at all the different platforms). There's no need to check for reproducibility on milestones earlier than the current Stable milestone.

If an issue is found that can't affect any users running a default configuration of Chrome (e.g. an issue in code guarded by a command-line flag that is off by default), then do not set the FoundIn label; instead, set the impact to Security_Impact-None (but see here for additional nuances around using Security_Impact-None).

Step 4. Check other labels.

Much of Chrome's development and release process depends on bugs having the right labels and components. Labels and components are vitally important for merging the fix to the right releases, and ensuring reporters are credited correctly. They also help with metrics and visibility.

Labels to double-check (the first two should already be there if the bug was filed using the Security template):

  • Restrict-View-SecurityTeam
  • Type-Bug-Security
  • If you want to prevent the bug from becoming unrestricted after it has been closed, add Restrict-View-SecurityEmbargo. This should be done if the reporter wishes to remain anonymous, if the description or comments contain PII, or if the bug contains malware samples.
  • Security_Severity - your responsibility as Sheriff.
  • FoundIn - your responsibility as Sheriff.
  • reward_to - if the bug was filed internally on behalf of somebody external (for instance, a email reporting “I'm filing this on behalf of” and the like). This is also very important; please check.

You can expect Sheriffbot to fill in lots of other labels; for example, the M- label to indicate the target milestone. It's best to allow Sheriffbot to add the rest, as its rules have congealed from years of accumulated security wisdom. See the Security Labels document for an explanation of what the labels mean.

If you change anything, add a comment which explains any status changes. Severity, milestone, and priority assignment generally require explanatory text.

  • Report suspected malicious URLs to SafeBrowsing:
  • Make sure the report is properly forwarded when the vulnerability is in an upstream project, the OS, or some other dependency.
  • For vulnerabilities in services Chrome uses (e.g. Omaha, Chrome Web Store, SafeBrowsing), make sure the affected team is informed and has access to the necessary bugs.
Labeling For Chrome On iOS
  • Reproduce using iOS device or desktop Safari.
  • Assign severity, impact, and component labels.
  • Label ExternalDependency.
  • Label Hotlist-WebKit. This label is monitored by Apple friends.
  • File a security bug at, and CC This alias is monitored by the iOS Chrome team so they can be notified when the WebKit bug is fixed.
  • Note the WebKit bug ID in the crbug report.

Find An Owner To Fix The Bug

That owner can be you! Otherwise, this is one of the more grey areas of sheriffing. With experience, you'll figure out good goto people for certain areas. Until then, here are some tips.

Determine the correct component before continuing. It‘s not enough on its own, but it’s a good starting point. Many components will automatically apply some CCs who may be able to help you out. If it's a crash bug, see if ClusterFuzz is able to provide one (will appear in the same card as the culprit CL). You can also use git hyper-blame and check OWNERS files to see who might own the relevant code.

For crashes, check to see if ClusterFuzz provides a culprit CL. Before you assign a bug based on this, do a quick sanity check to ensure the CL could have caused the bug. If the result seems wrong, apply the Test-Predator-Wrong label to the bug and keep going.

If you‘re able to narrow this to a specific regression range, usually from ClusterFuzz for crash bugs, do a quick pass over the git log to see if any CLs stand out. If you aren’t sure, don't be afraid to add CCs to the bug and ask!

At this point, you‘ll probably need to dive in and attempt to root cause the bug, which is another complicated grey area that you’ll figure out with experience. Try not to spend too much time on this for any given bug, as some cases will simply be too difficult without a deep understanding of certain portions of the codebase.

  • If you can narrow the bug to a specific file or block of code, or if something stands out as suspicious, try to assign an owner based on git hyper-blame or add some CCs based on OWNERS files.
  • If not, consider searching in the issue tracker for people that fixed similar bugs or bugs in similar areas of the code base, such as issues with the same components, recently. For example, let's say you were trying to figure out a good person to assign a Content>Fonts issue. Look for status=fixed,verified and query by when the issues were closed after (i.e. w/ in the last 30 days == closed>today-30).

Got stuck? Ask #chrome-security or someone from go/chrome-security-sheriff-mentors for help! That‘s why we’re here. Don't be afraid to do this!

Make sure that the person you assign to handle a bug is not OOO. And, generally, explicitly CC more than one person on the bug, if possible, and preferably people from more than one geographic region. (See the OWNERS file(s) that affect(s) the relevant area of code.)

Sometimes, finding an owner isn't enough to ensure that a bug will get fixed. Check the stale bug list on the security dashboard and try resolve some of the problems that might be blocking these issues. If you get in touch with a bug owner off of the issue tracker, be sure to have them update the bug so that future sheriffs are aware of the status.

Q: Why isn’t setting the component alone good enough?

A: CCs are critical because just assigning to a component is ineffective because the component’s team cannot see the issues unless they have the Security View permissions.

Using The Permission API Kill Switch

If you find a vulnerability in a Permission API and need to use the Global Permissions Kill Switch, then follow the instructions

Wrapping Up The Fixed Issue

  1. Check with the developer that the issue can be closed as Fixed to allow Sheriffbot to add the appropriate merge-review labels based on Security_Severity and Security_Impact.

End Of Rotation

Update the Sheriff Handoff Log.