The Pentagon on Wednesday said it will invite vetted external experts to test the cybersecurity integrity of some Department of Defense websites by permitting them to hack.
The “Hack the Pentagon” initiative will begin in April and is being led by the department’s Defense Digital Service, launched by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in November.
The Pentagon will use public crowdsourcing to “allow qualified participants to conduct vulnerability identification and analysis on the department’s public webpages.”
“I am always challenging our people to think outside the five-sided box that is the Pentagon,” Carter said in a statement. “Inviting responsible hackers to test our cybersecurity certainly meets that test. I am confident this innovative initiative will strengthen our digital defenses and ultimately enhance our national security.”
The initiative will be the first cyberbug bounty program in U.S. federal government history and it is the first in a series of programs designed to “test and find vulnerabilities in Defense Department applications, websites and networks.”