Military Embedded Systems

"Hack the Pentagon" invites vetted hackers to test DoD cybersecurity


March 03, 2016

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

"Hack the Pentagon" invites vetted hackers to test DoD cybersecurity

WASHINGTON. ?Hack the Pentagon? program kicks off with Department of Defense (DoD) officials inviting vetted hackers to test the department?s cybersecurity. The pilot program will launch in April and the department will provide more details on requirements for participation and other ground rules in the coming weeks. It also marks the first in a series of programs designed to test and find vulnerabilities in the department?s applications, websites, and networks.

The bug bounty program is modeled after similar competitions conducted by other companies to improve the security and delivery of networks, products, and digital services. Under the program, the department will use commercial sector crowdsourcing to allow qualified participants to conduct vulnerability identification and analysis on the department’s public webpages.

Hackers will participate in a controlled, limited duration program that will allow them to identify vulnerabilities on a predetermined department system. Other networks, including the department’s critical, mission-facing systems will not be part of the program. Candidates will have to register and undergo a background check prior to any involvement with the program. Hackers may be eligible for monetary rewards and other recognition, officials say.

DoD’s Defense Digital Service (DDS) – launched by Secretary Carter last November – leads the “Hack the Pentagon’ initiative. DDS includes a small team of engineers and data experts that focus on improving the department’s technological agility.

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