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Hackers will be invited to test the security of the Department of Defense website. The program, set up by the Pentagon’s Defense Digital Service (DDS), is focused on the public-facing sites and, won’t include the testing of more private systems and networks that may contain sensitive data or details on weapons.

Bug bounty programs are commonly used by companies like Google and Facebook as well as startups to encourage white hat hackers to privately disclose vulnerabilities they find in their sites and services in return for a reward, usually cash

Bug bounty programs are pretty common. They’re used by companies like Google and Facebook as well as startups to encourage white hat hackers to privately disclose vulnerabilities they find in their sites and services in return for a reward, usually cash.

Hack the Pentagon, which launches in April, is the first such program designed by the federal government and is modeled on these traditional bug bounty schemes. The details of the program are still being finalized and the prizes “could involve monetary awards” reports Reuters, but this has yet to be confirmed.

The Department of Defense says it is expecting thousands of applicants. White hat hackers who are interested must be U.S. citizens and pass a background check before they can start testing the sites.

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