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Pentagon continues quest to bolster military networks

By Max Burkhalter
November 29, 2016

Computer systems play an integral role in modern combat operations. As a result, the Department of Defense and its various branches constantly audit their networks here and abroad to search for weaknesses. Earlier this month, the agency launched its most ambitious network testing initiative yet, according to a press release. The bug bounty program, called "Hack the Army," will give 500 civilian cybersecurity specialists the opportunity to search the Army recruitment website and its related data stores for vulnerabilities that could cripple the branch's outreach efforts, a particularly serious concern for DoD, which has struggled with low enlistment numbers in recent years.

"The program will give civilian cybersecurity specialists the opportunity to probe the Army recruitment website."

"As secretary of the Army, the security of these foundational systems is incredibly important to me, and security is everyone's responsibility," Army Secretary Eric Fanning said in the release. "We need as many eyes and perspectives on our problem sets as possible and that's especially true when it comes to securing the Army's pipeline to future soldiers."

Participants will receive prize money for each fault they find. The cybersecurity firm HackerOne has signed on to coordinate "Hack the Army," according to Wired.

This isn't the DoD's first foray into the bug bounty arena. From April 18 to May 12, the agency hosted "Hack the Pentagon," allowing more than 1400 civilians to scan its networks for vulnerabilities. Approximately 250 spotted at least one problem and received payment for their work, according to a DoD press release.

"When it comes to information and technology, the defense establishment usually relies on closed systems," Secretary of Defense Ash Carter explained in the release. "But the more friendly eyes we have on some of our systems and websites, the more gaps we can find, the more vulnerabilities we can fix and the greater security we can provide to our warfighters."

Perle has long supported the U.S. military in its efforts to protect and modernize essential combat computer systems. Out terminal servers support the DoD's command and control systems, allowing American military personnel here and abroad to achieve optimal connectivity. Contact us today to learn more about our work.


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