The military wants you to try hacking into its computer network

Think you can hack the Pentagon? The Defense Department wants to give you a shot.

Just as major technology companies run bug bounty programs that pay security researchers to find and report security flaws in their products, the Pentagon said Wednesday that it will launch a “Hack the Pentagon” program.

There has never been a better time to focus on government security vulnerabilities. From the Office of Personnel Management—where hackers stole information on 21.5 million government employees—to the IRS, the White House, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, major federal agencies cabinet departments have been besieged by data breaches and other penetrations in recent years.

The Pentagon wants vetted security experts to find its flaws before malicious actors do. The military’s internal security teams already probe its systems for weaknesses, but this program will give people with a wider range of experience the chance to find those security holes.

The program is only open to U.S. citizens who pass a background check. Sorry foreign hackers or Americans with a criminal record—the Pentagon doesn’t trust you with access to its network.

H/T Reuters | Photo via Karoly Lorentey/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman

William Turton

William Turton

Once named one of Forbes’ 20 Under 20 and hired as a staff writer for the Daily Dot when he was still a senior in high school, William Turton is a rising tech reporter focusing on information security, hacking culture, and politics. Since leaving the Daily Dot in April 2016, his work has appeared on Gizmodo, the Outline, and Vice News Tonight on HBO.