The United States Army wants to utilize the skills of those with advanced technical computer expertise. Those who can penetrate security systems are being asked to see if they can locate bugs, exploits or other security issues across United States' Army networks and servers. The new initiative is being labeled a bug bounty, a term coined by Netscape employee Jarrett Ridlinghafer in 1996. The concept which was an early approach to crowd based support will now seek to allow hackers access to U.S. Army materials to teach the organization how to better protect it's assets and secure its global digital communications.

The U.S. Army is working with #HackerOne, an initiative that was launched by Microsoft, Facebook and Google to pool resources and knowledge around how to defend against the on-going scope of cyber threats, to develop this new community outreach program. The new initiative is being modeled after the HackerOne program Hack the Pentagon was able to uncover 138 security vulnerabilities in less than 24 days. In reaching out to a vast crowd of interested participants crowd based efforts such as these have been utilized by individuals and industries around the world to better understand internal organizational processes, competitors and many other unique areas of interest.

Save the Planet, Hack the Army

HackerOne has already launched similar programs to improve #cyber security at internationally renowned organizations such as Uber, Twitter, New Relic, General Motors, Github, CloudFlare, Kaspersky Labs, Panasonic Avionics, Snapchat, Zenefits—and the Department of Defense.

The Department of Defense was quick laud the efforts of the private researchers who lent their technical expertise to previous projects. Rather than having top federal cyber security talent focused on locating threats, they are increasingly able to direct efforts towards addressing them. The full size and scope of the #Hack the Army campaign have not yet been released. It has been suggested that similarly to the Hack the Pentagon initiative, all interested participants will need to pass a security and background screening to be able to access the U.S. Army materials.

Anyone interested in trying to Hack the Army is directed to check out the HackerOne Twitter account: @hacker0x01 or seek out the HackerOne website to learn more about how to get involved.