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‘Ethical hackers’ take part in bug bounty program

A team of ‘ethical hackers’ from the UK have joined counterparts in the US to bolster their threat identification and response capabilities.

user icon Charbel Kadib
Fri, 06 Aug 2021
‘Ethical hackers’ take part in bug bounty program
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The UK Ministry of Defence has sponsored 26 ‘ethical hackers’ to participate in a ‘Bug Bounty’ program in collaboration with US-based organisation HackerOne.

The 30-day program aims to identify and solve vulnerabilities in cyber systems, helping strengthen Defence’s resilience to malicious activity.

The initiative offers incentives to participants, rewarding ethical hackers if they identify and remediate vulnerabilities.


This forms part of the UK’s broader effort to bolster cyber resilience, as outlined in the Integrated Review published earlier this year.

“Bug bounty is an exciting new capability for the Ministry of Defence. Our cyber teams are collaborating with the ethical hacking community to identify and fix vulnerabilities in our systems, ensuring we’re more resilient and better protected,” Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said.

“This work will contribute to better cyber and information security for the UK.”

Christine Maxwell, the Ministry of Defence’s chief information security officer, welcomed the program, which she said embraces a strategy of “securing by design”.

“It is important for us to continue to push the boundaries with our digital and cyber development to attract personnel with skills, energy and commitment,” Maxwell said.

“Working with the ethical hacking community allows us to build out our bench of tech talent and bring more diverse perspectives to protect and defend our assets.

“Understanding where our vulnerabilities are and working with the wider ethical hacking community to identify and fix them is an essential step in reducing cyber risk and improving resilience.”

HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos said the initiative is further evidence of heightened global awareness for emerging cyber security threats.

“Having a formalised process to accept vulnerabilities from third parties is widely considered best practice globally, with the US government making it mandatory for their federal civilian agencies this year,” Mickos said.

“The UK MoD is leading the way in the UK government with forward-thinking and collaborative solutions to securing its digital assets and I predict we will see more government agencies follow its example.”

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres

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