Hackers Offered Reward for Testing Government Defenses

Having the world’s most powerful military forces at your disposal doesn’t mean anything when it comes to repelling a hacker. The Pentagon understands this, and so they want to do their best to shore up defenses. As a result, the call has gone out to hackers to do “their worst” to the government agency’s public webpages. Testing the defenses on these non-critical pages is meant to help find and shore up weaknesses in the military’s private network.

Hackers Called to Action

The US government has never issued such a challenge before. They want hackers to find any possible bugs that are exploitable, and it is even offering a reward to the hackers who help them test the nation’s digital defenses. It’s a win-win for the government. Hackers help test defenses using public sites, and the cash prize distracts them from attacking any vital sites in the meantime.

Of course, it’s not completely open season. To be a part of the program, you have to pass the background check. Shady hackers need not apply. It’s all part of the DOD’s way to find hackers who will stick to the systems that are part of the test, and not go rogue trying to steal state secrets.

In 2015, the Pentagon had a rough year as far as cyber attacks are concerned. In fact, the largest of the attacks crashed the email system and affected approximately 4,000 personnel, both military and civilian. Hacks coming from foreign countries are also a consistent threat. These are just a couple of the reasons why the Pentagon wants the digital world’s most devious minds to be a part in helping to shore up security breaches.

This test involving hackers, and offering cash rewards is not the only thing the government is doing to defend against future attacks. It is just one part of a much larger initiative. However, it is encouraging to see how seriously the government is taking cybercrime.

We encourage your business to do the same. Not that you want to pay hackers to attack your system. You do, however, want to take measures to protect your company’s data—both internal data, and any customer information that you may store on your computers.