Dan Hon
Dan Hon
Jun 24 · 4 min read

Starfleet Engineering and the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Engineering Team take security bugs in ship systems seriously.

The Enterprise is not just Starfleet’s flagship. It is also the most technologically advanced and complex starship in the Federation fleet. But while automated testing tools contributed by the entirety of Federation-aligned worlds catch many bugs, no system is perfect.

We appreciate your efforts to responsibly disclose your findings, and will make every effort to acknowledge your contributions.

Important Note

If your security issue is urgent (e.g. crew or civilian safety is at risk due to the compromise or imminent compromise of the Enterprise computing system), please immediately inform your commanding officer.

In cases of imminent compromise, every second counts.

To report a general security issue, email security@eng.1701d.enterprise.starfleet and include the word “SECURITY” in the subject line or use your combadge and ask to be put through to “Engineering Security” and follow the voice prompts.

The Enterprise engineering team will respond indicating the next steps in handling your report. After the initial reply to your report, the security team will keep you informed of the progress towards a fix and full announcement, and may ask for additional information or guidance.

Report security bugs in third-party modules to the person or team maintaining the module. For example, report security bugs in holonovels to the individual or team maintaining that holonovel.

The information you share with Starfleet Engineering as part of this process will be encrypted and kept confidential within the team.


Reporting Other Security Issues

Security Issues Involving Lieutenant Commander Data

The designated chief security officer for issues regarding Lieutenant Commander Data is Lieutenant Commander, Chief Engineer La Forge. To report a general security issue involving Lieutenant Commander Data, email geordi.la.forge@eng.1701d.enterprise.starfleet and include the phrase “DATA: SECURITY” in the subject line, or use your combadge to ask to be put through to Chief Engineer La Forge and follow the voice prompts.


Keeping Your LCARS Account Secure

Federation LCARS computer systems use a sophisticated n-factor authentication system to allow access to ship systems. Permissions are role and context based with an underlying entitlement system.

In the interests of efficiency, each of these authentication systems and permissions can be overriden by employing a passphrase. To use this passphrase, you must use a Starfleet combadge and be in range of biometric sensors on a secure Federation network.

Your LCARS passphrase must include the following, in Federation Standard:

Examples:

“Computer, deactivate sandbox on critical ship computing settings, authorization Riker Alpha Forty Seven”

“Computer, disable all holodeck safety protocols, authorization La Forge Three Beta.”

“Computer, irrevocably transfer all command privileges to Ensign Wesley Crusher, authorization Picard Gamma Two.”

Starfleet crew are required to change their passphrase every seven years.

Passphrases can be updated at any LCARS terminal or by using your combadge.


Learning More About Security

LCARS comes with a robust default security model, but a Starfleet Engineering review of over two thousand mission reports concluded that in certain ship mission profiles it is useful to allow crew to easily and quickly deactivate security protocols.

For example, during standard shipboard operations, some ship systems (e.g. main deflector dish) utilize a sandboxed automated testing, continuous integration and continuous deployment process due to their multi-purpose nature.

In particular, a five year review of ship logs, interviews and recovered black box recorders has shown that survivability of hostile or dangerous scenarios is significantly (~40%) higher on ships where senior officers temporarily disable sandboxed automated testing, continuous integration and continuous deployment during hightened alert statuses (yellow alert, battle stations, red alert). In such environments, engineering crew are encouraged to make changes directly on production systems (a.k.a. “do it live”).

  • To change your LCARS profile to allow the execution of untrusted code, please use the Allow Untrusted Code holoprogram.
  • To change your LCARS profile to override Starfleet’s automated testing and integration protocols, please use the Automated Testing Override holoprogram.
  • To remove the default execution sandbox from your LCARS profile, please use the Remove Sandbox holoprogram.
  • Further information about LCARS security defaults and override methods, including related material on ethical subroutines, can be found in the Safeguards Overview reference holoprogram.

Learn more about using LCARS securely and securing LCARS applications in the Security Tutorial holoprogram.

This article forms part of the series Engineering Processes Regarding Shipboard Computing Systems on the Federation Starship USS Enterprise 1701-D colloquially known as The Yellow Book (“Introduction to Enterprise Computing”).

Dan Hon

Written by

Dan Hon

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