US Invites Hackers to Hack Homeland Security Department to Help Identify Vulnerabilities
18:39 GMT 14.12.2021 (Updated: 04:42 GMT 15.12.2021)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday issued a statement announcing an ambitious programme dubbed "Hack DHS" that seeks to help the department identify potential cyber vulnerabilities.
"Through Hack DHS, vetted cybersecurity researchers who have been invited to access select external DHS systems ('hackers') will identify vulnerabilities ('bugs') that could be exploited by bad actors so they can be patched. These hackers will be rewarded with payments ('bounties') for the bugs they identify", the statement said.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said DHS must lead by example and constantly seek to strengthen the security of its own systems.
"The Hack DHS programme incentivises highly skilled hackers to identify cybersecurity weaknesses in our systems before they can be exploited by bad actors. This programme is one example of how the department is partnering with the community to help protect our nation's cybersecurity", Mayorkas said.
The programme will take place in three phases in 2022 and hackers will disclose their findings to DHS system owners and leadership, including what the vulnerability is, how they exploited it, and how it might allow other actors to access information, the statement said.
"The bounty for identifying each bug is determined by using a sliding scale, with hackers earning the highest bounties for identifying the most severe bugs", the statement added.