Pentagon’s Proactive Approach to Cybersecurity – Over 50,000 Vulnerability Reports Since 2016

Vulnerability Reports DoD Pentagon

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has been at the forefront of cybersecurity, receiving over 50,000 vulnerability reports since 2016 through its continuous Vulnerability Disclosure Program (VDP). This initiative, a first in the history of the federal government, was launched following the successful ‘Hack the Pentagon‘ bug bounty program on HackerOne.

The DoD has run over 40 bug bounty programs in collaboration with HackerOne, Bugcrowd, and Synack. It also launched a continuous ‘Hack the Pentagon’ bug bounty program, allowing white hat hackers to submit vulnerability reports throughout the year.

This expansion allowed security researchers to target a broader range of systems for bug hunting, from high-value hardware and physical assets to web-facing websites and applications, HVAC, utilities, physical security systems, industrial control systems, and more.

In 2021, the DoD launched a 12-month bug bounty program aimed at finding flaws in contractor networks. This initiative saved an estimated $61 million in taxpayer money by addressing over 1,000 vulnerabilities, according to the Pentagon’s Cyber Crime Center (DC3).

Last year, the DoD launched a ‘Hack the Pentagon’ website to help DoD organizations establish their own bug bounty programs. This move encourages internal vigilance and proactive measures in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities.

By the end of 2022, close to 45,000 vulnerability reports were received from roughly 4,000 researchers participating in the DoD’s VDP. More than 25,000 of these reports were actionable, and over 6,000 of them were successfully mitigated.

According to the Pentagon’s VDP page on HackerOne, more than 27,000 vulnerability reports have been resolved since the program’s launch.

“The success of the DC3 VDP is a powerful example of how a strong relationship with the global ethical hacker community translates to the consistent strengthening of cyber defenses. As proud partners, we look forward to continued collaboration as ethical hackers work to further strengthen national security,” said Alex Rice, HackerOne founder and CTO.

The Pentagon’s proactive and collaborative approach to cybersecurity demonstrates the potential of such programs in strengthening national security and saving taxpayer money. It serves as a model for other government agencies and private organizations to follow.

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