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The Army Is Paying Hackers To Infiltrate Its System

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

The U.S. Army is set to pay a Silicon Valley company to hack its system and expose vulnerabilities in the branch’s technological infrastructure.

HackerOne, a cybersecurity company that embraces hackers and their business potential, is the contractor of choice for the bug bounty challenge, Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning announced Friday.

“Through HackerOne, eligible hackers will soon have a chance to earn competitive bounties for reporting vulnerabilities to the Department of the Army,” an official HackerOne blog post states. “Inviting the hacker community to find unknown security vulnerabilities will supplement the great work the Army’s talented cybersecurity personnel are doing already.”

The Pentagon hosted a competition in June called “Hack the Pentagon,” where cyber-experts penetrated the Pentagon’s computer systems in search of technical flaws. The bounties for detecting the bugs ranged from roughly $100 to as much as $15,000. HackerOne was eventually called in to fix the roughly 140 identified security vulnerabilities. (RELATED: Three Teenagers Are Making A KILLING Teaching Tech Giants How To Hack)

The Pentagon will hire two cybersecurity firms, officials announced. This will expand on the Department of Defense’s “Hack the Pentagon” event by adding 14 new hacking challenges. The two contracts are expected to total $7 million.

Now the initiative is snowballing further with HackerOne working directly with the U.S. Army and its technical infrastructure.

The U.S. government seems to be done fighting the idea of the usefulness of hackers and instead is employing the tech experts (“if you can’t beat them, join them”).

John McAfee, famous computer programmer, explains in an op-ed why the country’s premiere government agencies struggle with cybersecurity capabilities.

“And why do the best hackers on the planet not work for the FBI? Because the FBI will not hire anyone with a 24-inch purple mohawk, 10-gauge ear piercings, and a tattooed face who demands to smoke weed while working and won’t work for less than a half-million dollars a year. But you bet your ass that the Chinese and Russians are hiring similar people with similar demands and have been for many years. It’s why we are decades behind in the cyber race.”

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