The continuous Hack the Pentagon project is powered by crowdsourced security platform Bugcrowd, which is the third Silicon Valley company awarded a contract by the DoD for bug bounty programs.
HackerOne has helped the department run time-limited bug bounty programs, such as the first Hack the Pentagon, Hack the Air Force, Hack the Marine Corps, and Hack the Army.
Synack, which offers managed bug bounty services, was contracted by the Pentagon to provide assistance for a private program focusing on sensitive IT assets and open only to highly vetted researchers.
The year-long program targets high-value assets, including hardware and physical systems, and its goal is to help the DoD collaborate with vetted researchers throughout the development lifecycle of systems, many of which are regularly updated.
The Pentagon says it will also launch other bug bounty programs for public-facing websites.
“As cyber threats persist, the Defense Department is working to identify innovative approaches to bolster security, combat malicious activities, and build trusted private sector partnerships to counter threats. Hack the Pentagon bug bounties are designed to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities across targeted DOD websites and assets and pay cash to highly vetted security researchers or ‘ethical hackers’ to discover and disclose bugs,” the DoD said.