The Defense Department’s new bug bounty program, “Hack the Pentagon,” runs from April 18 to May 12.
Can you find bugs on government networks? Uncle Sam might have a little cash for you.
The Department of Defense’s new bug bounty program, called “Hack the Pentagon,” will run from April 18 to May 12, and while “individual bounty payments will depend on a number of factors,” the program has $150,000 to dole out. Interested would-be hackers can sign up for the program now.
“This initiative will put the department’s cybersecurity to the test in an innovative but responsible way,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement. “I encourage hackers who want to bolster our digital defenses to join the competition and take their best shot.”
Hack the Pentagon is the first-ever commercial bug bounty program from the U.S. government, and is intended “to explore new approaches to [U.S.] cybersecurity challenges, and evolve to adopt the best practices used by the most successful and secure software companies in the world.”
Participants must have a U.S. taxpayer ID and Social Security number, and be eligible to work within the U.S.
“If you submit a qualifying, validated vulnerability, you may be eligible to receive an award, pending a security check,” information on HackerOne’s page reads. “Specific information on payment eligibility will be provided upon acceptance into the program.”
Bug bounty programs have been used by a wide range of tech companies, from Google to Uber, to name a few.
In most cases, white-hat hackers try to find vulnerabilities, and inform the companies of their findings.
Depending on the severity of the bug, those hackers can make hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Defense Department’s move comes as the U.S., is increasingly a target by nation states looking to nab criticial information.