The Department of Defense has challenged computer experts to hack the Pentagon. However, you’ll have to register first or face serious consequences.
The idea is to run a more crowdsourced versions of programs where businesses and government agencies ask “white hat” hackers to test their cyberdefenses. Whereas those often involve a flat fee, the DoD wants to use competition to spark efforts by multiple people. It’s not yet decided whether to offer cash prizes or simply let people compete for bragging rights.
As you’d hope, it’s not a complete free-for-all. The invitation will only cover a particular DoD computer system, to be chosen later on, which won’t cover the most sensitive data.
The contest will only be open to US citizens, and participants must pass a background test before being given permission to take part.
An unnamed official told Reuters that “The goal is not to compromise any aspect of our critical systems, but to still challenge our cybersecurity in a new and innovative way.”