recommended reading

GSA Tech Office Launches Bug Bounty Program

ChromaWise/Shutterstock.com

The cybersecurity company that ran a bug bounty program for the Army and is running ongoing programs for the Pentagon and Air Force will run a similar program for the government’s technology user experience wing, that office announced Friday.

The program run by HackerOne will offer cash rewards ranging from $300 to $5,000 to security researchers who spot dangerous vulnerabilities in websites and applications run by the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service.

TTS did not give a start date for the program.

» Get the best federal technology news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

It will be one of the first civilian government implementation of a cybersecurity concept embraced by top tech companies including Google and Amazon.  

The general idea is that an organization’s internal security staff is unlikely to find every exploitable bug in its systems so it’s a good idea to incentivize ethical hackers to uncover them before their nefarious cousins do.

The technology service’s tech tiger team 18F released a vulnerability disclosure policy in November and began the solicitation process that resulted in HackerOne getting the contract in January.

The disclosure policy requires researchers only exploit TTS sites to the extent necessary to confirm they’re vulnerable and bars them from stealing any data or changing systems. Researchers also must keep any information they glean from hacking TTS sites confidential for 90 days after notifying the office.

The contract covers a trial period, but TTS’s goal is to establish “a permanent program that involves most—if not all—TTS-owned websites and web applications,” the service said.

A trial of the HackerOne-run Hack the Pentagon program turned up 1,189 bugs in Defense Department systems and resulted in $75,000 in payouts to hackers. The Hack the Army program turned up 118 bug reports that the service patched and resulted in about $100,000 in payouts.

The Hack the Air Force program begins May 30. 

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.