The Pentagon is inviting hackers to break into it’s public US Defense Department websites so as to help identify vulnerabilities before malicious hackers do.
Dubbed ‘Hack the Pentagon’ and headed by the Defense Digital Service, the competition marks the first time the federal government has used this type of program to find and identify problems before malicious hackers can exploit them.
I am confident that this innovative initiative will strengthen our digital defenses and ultimately enhance our national security.
Though the Pentagon hasn’t revealed any detail regarding how the competition will work, it has said that it expects thousands of qualified applicants to get involved. The Pentagon has said details and rules of the project were still being worked out, but it could involve financial rewards. Companies like Facebook paid over $4 million to hackers who helped identify vulnerabilities via the company’s Bug Bounty program. We should expect something huge also from the Pentagon.
The program won’t be a free-for-all, participants must be US citizens and will have to register and submit to a background check before being let loose on the computer system.
According to the Pentagon more sensitive networks or key weapons programmes will not be included in the project, at least initially. The official added:
The goal is not to compromise any aspect of our critical systems, but to still challenge our cybersecurity in a new and innovative way.”
The Defense Digital Service (DDS) was established last year to bring US technology experts into the military
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. It was designed by American architect George Bergstrom (1876–1955), and built by general contractor John McShain of Philadelphia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, “The Pentagon” is often used metonymically to refer to the U.S. Department of Defense.