The US Defence Secretary Mr Ash Carter has invited hackers to hack into their systems to help find any security bugs that might cause problems in the future.
Hacking a government entity like FBI, NSA is something that is always a dream for hackers. Some claim to do it always and not get caught, others do get caught whilst others are just too scared to do it. Well now there is a chance for them to do it legally.
In an effort to enhance its security system and check for any security bugs the Pentagon ( US Security Department) has decided to invite so called “friendly” hackers to try and infiltrate their security systems in a scheme led by the Pentagon’s Defence Digital Service (DDS) known as Hack the Pentagon project.
They are following in the footsteps of other big technological companies like Facebook and Google which hold bounty programs to help themselves notice weaknesses on their programs. The programme will be set for only U.S citizens and it’s reported that the Pentagon is also thinking of adding financial rewards.
The news comes as the FBI and Apple appeared before the Congress in the wake of Apple’s refusal to override encryption of a terrorist’s phone who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California in December 2015. Speaking during his visit to Silicon Valley, Defence Secretary Ash Carter stated his backing to the data security systems and strong encryption.
He declined to comment directly on the case but however urged the tech firms to work together and co-operate with the government as he warned against letting hostile countries like China and Russia from setting the rules on the internet.
The program is set to be welcomed by people as the Pentagon expects lots of applicants numbering into the thousands. The entry though is set to be rigorous so that only “friendly” hackers are left. In line wit this the Pentagon is also restricting access to the key weapons programs and other sensitive networks but might be made accessible in due time. They are also working on making the Hack the Pentagon program profitable for the winners as they think of adding monetary rewards.
The Pentagon will be hoping to strengthen their systems as the program comes a day after it just announced that they would start using cyber attacks as a way to counter attack against terrorism. These attacks would be used mainly against the notorious Islamic State group which has terrorised many countries in Europe and Africa as of late.
Prospective applicants are expected to be of US nationality, be willing to go through a rigorous background check and come out squeaky clean before being turned loose on a predetermined public facing computer system.
The applicants will also be used as a litmus test to check how good the internal teams that have been checking the Pentagon’s networks “so-called red teams” have fared up to now. “I am confident that this innovative initiative will strengthen our digital defences and ultimately enhance our national security,” Mr Carter said.
We can only hope that this is a step in the right direction and the Pentagon is doing the right thing.