Defense Dept. expanding Hack the Pentagon program

Defense Dept. expanding Hack the Pentagon program
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The Department of Defense (DOD) will expand a program that rewards security researchers for hacking its websites.

The pilot program, titled Hack the Pentagon, invited vetted security researchers to try to break into five DOD websites. Those who successfully reported a unique vulnerability on those sites were rewarded with a cash payout. Nearly 140 bugs were discovered, and rewards totaled more than $70,000.

The DOD received its first submission within 15 minutes of the program’s launch.

Hack the Pentagon ran from April 18 to May 12. Based its success, the DOD announced on Friday it would expand similar initiatives to more of its computer systems and networks, including those in military branches.

This type of reward program — usually called a bug bounty — is increasingly common in the private sector as a way to shore up products and system security.

In a press release, the Pentagon announced two other, similar initiatives. The first will accept vulnerability reports for any system, even ones outside the reward program. The second will encourage similar policies for DOD contractors.