White-hat hackers have scooped up $33,750 through Hack the Proxy, the eighth hacker-focused cyber challenge created through a partnership between the Defense Department (DoD) and HackerOne.

Sponsored by U.S. Cyber Command, 81 hackers from around the world participated in the two-week challenge. The challenge – focused on proxies, VPNs, and virtual desktops – was to find security vulnerabilities that could be used by adversaries to surveil information that is internal to DoD networks.

A total of 31 security vulnerabilities were found, and DoD awarded $33,750 in “bounties” to the hackers who participated.

“Hack the Proxy is an important approach that leverages crowd-sourced talent for an outside-in view of our vulnerabilities. At little cost, we identify and mitigate vulnerabilities more effectively, making the Department’s networks more resilient and securing our data from malicious cyber actors,” MSgt Michael Methven at U.S. Cyber Command’s Directorate of Operations said.

Hack the Proxy is the latest program in DoD’s Defense Digital Service (DDS) hacker-based challenges with HackerOne. Hack the Army is another challenge that is currently taking place from Oct. 9 through Nov. 8, which encourages participants to attack over 60 publicly accessible web assets to improve cybersecurity posture.

“With each new initiative, the Department of Defense further bolsters its cyber defenses against rogue enemy actors thanks to white hat hackers from across the globe,” said Alex Romero, Digital Service Expert at DoD’s DDS. “As our adversaries become more sophisticated in their tactics, we must stay one step ahead to protect our citizens and defense systems.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.