At RSA, Defense arch Carter unveils feds initial ‘bug bounty’

March 3, 2016 - Finding Carter

The Pentagon will pilot the initial ever “bug bounty” module run by a sovereign government department, saying Wednesday it would concede vetted white-hat hackers to try aggressive a public-facing websites and earnest money rewards for any who succeeded.

“I am always severe a people to consider outward a five-sided box that is a Pentagon,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter pronounced in a statement.  “Inviting obliged hackers to exam a cybersecurity positively meets that test. I am assured this innovative beginning will strengthen a digital defenses and eventually raise a inhabitant security.” 

The “Hack a Pentagon” module is a brainchild of the new Defense Digital Service — the Defense Department arm of a White House’s U.S. Digital Service — launched by Carter final November. 

The commander program, to be launched subsequent month, is modeled on similar contests run by vast Internet and module companies, according to Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook. It “marks a initial in a array of programs designed to exam and find vulnerabilities in a department’s applications, websites, and networks,” Cook added.

At a RSA Conference in San Francisco, Carter pronounced Wednesday that a annuity mirrors a best practices of Silicon Valley companies, that mostly partisan white-hat hackers to find gaps in their security. 

“You would rather find a vulnerabilities in that approach than a other way,” Carter said, referring to a probability of a information breach. “You can’t usually keep doing what we are doing. The universe changes too fast, a competitors change too fast.”

Unlike blurb bug annuity programs, that are open to all comers or organized by third celebration vendors like Bugcrowd, Inc., a Pentagon will need participants to bear a credentials check before participating. Once vetted, a volunteers will join “a controlled, singular generation module that will concede them to brand vulnerabilities on a fixed dialect system,” pronounced Cook. 

“Other networks, including a department’s critical, mission-facing systems will not be partial of” a pilot, he added. 

“Bringing in a best talent, record and processes from a private zone not usually helps us broach comprehensive, some-more secure solutions to a DoD, though it also helps us improved strengthen a country,” pronounced the Defense Digital Service’s director, record businessman Chris Lynch.

The dialect also announced the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, a 12-person group of Silicon Valley CEOs that will provide recommendation on a best and latest practices in creation that a dialect can emulate. Alphabet Chairman and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt will be in assign of a board. 

“I’m so beholden to Eric Schmidt for his eagerness to do things,” Carter pronounced Wednesday. “He’s a ideal chairman. He is lethal critical about spending his time [at DOD].

News of a pilot was welcomed, and not usually by a hacker community, who have prolonged argued that such programs concede white-hat hackers to monetize their skills for a common good. Conventional invulnerability executive Raytheon’s new cybersecurity acquisition, Foreground Security, assimilated a carol of praise. 

The module “is another instance of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s efforts to strengthen a inhabitant confidence by drumming a high-end talent able of sport cyber threats,” association owner and President Dave Amsler told FedScoop. “The Hack a Pentagon module is a step in a right instruction to be some-more active in detecting and eradicating cyber threats.”

“Inviting members of a rarely learned hacker village is an impossibly effective approach to brand unavoidable confidence vulnerabilities that your possess contrast missed,” added Katie Moussouris, a arch process officer for HackerOne. 

She pronounced a Pentagon was blazing a route others could follow. “The extended import here isn’t usually strengthening inhabitant security, though it will also have a sputter outcome for other governments’ and industries’ acceptance.”

Correspondent Greg Otto, during RSA in San Francisco, contributed stating to this story. Contact him via email at, or follow him on Twitter at @gregotto. His OTR and PGP info can be found here. Subscribe to a Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox each morning by signing adult here:

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