The US Defense Department is inviting vetted white-hat hackers to hunt for vulnerabilities in its public web pages under a pilot bug bounty program. The new “Hack the Pentagon” announced today by DoD officials took the security industry by surprise.
Bug bounty programs are gradually catching on in the commercial world, but no one expected the Pentagon—much less the feds—to launch one. The DoD program aims to tap expertise from the private sector in the first step in a planned group of programs to test for bugs in DoD websites, applications, and networks. DoD will give monetary awards to hackers who find bugs, but many of the details of the program were not yet disclosed.
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