Pentagon Launches First-of-Its-Kind Bug Bounty Program

Challenged by hackers and staffing shortages, the Pentagon is inviting plainclothes techies to a competition where they can poke around military code for security bugs. The idea is to find and fix vulnerabilities unknowingly inserted in software before the bad guys do.

The contest draws inspiration from “bug bounty” programs in the private sector open to hobbyists and professional penetration testers. Microsoft, for instance, offers a reward of up to $100,000 for attacking its software. General Motors earlier this year launched a car-hacking program that seeks glitch reports but doesn’t yet pay for them.

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