“As satellites provide the entire world with needed data transmission for capabilities like GPS and credit card transactions, the Departments of the Air & Space Force embraces the benefit of ethical hacking to advance cyber and space technology for both the military and industry,” the Defense Department said in a press release.
The United States began accepting applications from hackers on Tuesday for a qualification round on June 26, with a first prize of $10,000. The eight teams that emerge as finalists will compete September 17-19 for a top prize of $50,000, the release said.
In addition to hackers probing for satellite code vulnerabilities, Air and Space Force service members will attempt to defend their satellites with offensive countermeasures, the release added.
Last year’s inaugural Hack-A-Sat contest drew over 2,000 teams made up of more than 6,000 individuals, including some of the world’s best hackers, according to the release.