Hack the Pentagon, win $150,000

© David B. Gleason
The US Department of Defense is calling for hackers to infiltrate the Pentagon - and offering a $150,000 prize to the winner.

The “Hack the Pentagon” competition asks digital locksmiths to try and penetrate the fortress’ security and find vulnerabilities.

Registration is now open and the pilot program runs from April 18 to May 12.

The contest also gives hackers a free pass to infiltrate government websites that would normally carry the risk of severe punishments.

Of course, if you want to compete, you basically have to turn yourself in to the feds or create a digital ghost not even the military can detect, since entrants must have a US social security number, be legally allowed to work in the US, and agree to a background check in order to claim the prize.

HackerOne, a vulnerability coordination and bug bounty start-up funded by the CEOs of Dropbox, Yelp, and Salesforce, was chosen to run the competition for the US government.

“Embracing the hacker community is not only a watershed move by the Pentagon, but also signals deeply promising progress for all of software security,” Marten Mickos, CEO of HackerOne, said.

Companies such as Facebook and Google run similar ‘bug bounty’ contests to test their security, but this is the first such program to be run by the US government.

The DoD’s most critical systems will not be tested in the program. White-hat hackers will identify vulnerabilities and conduct analysis of selected sites. Individual bounties will be given for different vulnerability reports submitted.

The contest is led by the Defense Digital Service, a new arm of the Pentagon created in November to “improve the Department’s technological agility and solve its most complex IT problems.”

Apply to enter here, assuming you want to give the US government your details.