The Pentagon has announced that it’s seeking “vetted outside hackers” to test the security of US Defence Department websites.
Reuters reports that the project — called Hack the Pentagon — is the first time the US federal government will have tried to test its defences in this way. While the exact details are yet to be finalised, the Pentagon has said that monetary rewards might be up for grabs.
Before you get busy, there are some caveats. To hack the Pentagon without landing yourself in trouble you must be a US citizen, register your intent and undergo a background check. Only then will you be given the go-ahead to take on its security systems with impunity. Those of a nervous disposition will be comforted by the fact that the most sensitive networks and weapon programs won’t be included in the testing.
It’s not a new idea, of course — big companies already invite security experts and hackers to compromise their systems — but it is the first time the Pentagon has given it a whirl. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement that he hopes it “will strengthen our digital defences and ultimately enhance our national security”. Hopefully without proving too embarrassing along the way.
Image by David B. Gleason