The Pentagon recently announced that it plans to invite American cybersecurity experts to take on some public websites belonging to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The program is the first of its kind and is aimed to help authorities enforce cyber safety.

Large U.S. enterprises deploy such programs frequently, and the "Hack the Pentagon" initiative takes notes from such "bug bounties." These programs prove to be most effective in uncovering breaches in the security networks of the organizations.

By assigning vetted, trusted experts to test the vulnerabilities of their IT security, organizations make sure that problems are spotted before malevolent actors can exploit the weaknesses. This saves time, money and headaches for everyone involved.

"I am confident that this innovative initiative will strengthen our digital defenses and ultimately enhance our national security," says Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Insiders pointed out that thousands of trained participants will be joining the program. No official details were released on the rules and prizes of the competition, but the Pentagon hinted that monetary awards could be in store.

Internally, so-called "red teams" already pushed the limits of Pentagon's security, but the scope of the program goes way beyond that. The Pentagon wants to verify how its consistent network of computers deals with challenges coming from outsiders.

One precondition to enrolling in the program is to be a U.S. citizen and to submit to a background check. After that, the Pentagon simply lets users take their best shot at a selected slice of the public-facing computer system belonging to the government.

The agency notes that key weapons programs or sensitive networks will be isolated from the initiative. Should they remain vulnerable, the defense department is confident that white hat hackers will let the Pentagon know. Last year, the Department of Defense increased its efforts to limit the exposure of its military arsenal to cyber attacks.

Last November, the Defense Digital Service (DDS) was created inside the Pentagon with the purpose of establishing short-term cooperation with tech industry experts from the United States. The DDS is in charge of the "Hack the Pentagon" program.

Carter recently talked at the Commonwealth Club, where he pointed out that developers and cybersecurity experts from the likes of Shopify and Google already signed up for a Pentagon "tour of duty."

"[The Pentagon will] sustain and strengthen the bridges we're building with the tech community for many years to come," Carter underlined during the forum.

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