Hack the Air Force event challenges computer security specialists

When we think of hacking, we typically think of people up to no good. But the U.S. Air Force is actually inviting hackers. Do you think you have what it takes to hack the Air Force? You might just get the opportunity to try thanks to a campaign from the U.S. Department of Defense aptly titled “Hack the Air Force.”

The Air Force recently announced the initiative, which takes a page from the recent “Hack the Pentagon” campaign, at a kick-off event at the HackerOne headquarters.

What is Hack the Air Force?

The idea is to have vetted computer security specialists from the U.S. and select countries attempt to hack into some of its key public websites. In doing so, those experts can help the Air Force locate and close any security flaws or weaknesses before hackers with malicious intent take advantage of them. Hackers can earn a bounty for every legitimate vulnerability reported.

This is a popular strategy among private businesses. But it’s just the second time the federal government has employed a bug-bounty program. During the “Hack the Pentagon” event, the DOD paid out $75,000 in total bounties to participating hackers.

This outside approach — drawing on the talent and expertise of our citizens and partner-nation citizens–in identifying our security vulnerabilities will help bolster our cybersecurity — Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein

How to get involved

Registration for “Hack the Air Force” began on May 15 and the contest runs from May 30 to June 23. U.S. citizens and interested individuals from the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand can sign up on the HackerOne website.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

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