The US Department of Defence (DoD) is inviting hackers to break into its network, and will provide a bug bounty to those who uncover flaws.
The invitation was issued on Facebook, where US secretary of defence Ash Carter said that the government wants to use cyber talent to uncover potential risks.
"Today we announced that the DoD will invite vetted hackers to hack the Pentagon in an effort to test our digital security in the first federal government bug bounty. Under the pilot programme, we will allow qualified participants to identify vulnerabilities on the department's public web pages," he wrote.
"The bug bounty is modelled after similar competitions conducted by some of the nation's biggest companies - Microsoft, Google and Facebook - to improve the security and delivery of networks, products and digital services."
Applicants will need to register and undergo a background check to take part.
Carter explained that the project is an attempt to ensure that the DoD has the necessary security measures in place to protect its assets. However, no mission-critical assets will be tested during the event.
"Bringing in the best talent, technology and processes from the private sector helps us deliver comprehensive, more secure solutions to the DoD and better protect our country," he said.
"This bug bounty will not compromise any of the department's critical, mission-facing systems. Instead, it will challenge our digital security in new and innovative ways."
The event will begin in April and more information will be published nearer the time, including the bug bounty amounts.
"I am always challenging our people to think outside the five-sided box that is the Pentagon. Inviting responsible hackers to test our digital security certainly meets that test," added Carter.
"I am confident that this innovative initiative will strengthen our digital defences and ultimately enhance our national security. I encourage all who meet the requirements to participate in this historic opportunity to see if you can hack the Pentagon."
To hear more about security challenges, the threats they pose and how to combat them, sign up for V3 sister site Computing's Enterprise Security and Risk Management conference on 24 November.
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