Defense Dept. expands vulnerability disclosure program to all publicly accessible defense systems

This move allows greater research and reporting of bugs to Pentagon

depatment of defenve buiding

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has expanded its Vulnerability Disclosure Program (VDP) to include all publicly accessible DoD websites and systems.

The VDP is run by the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) to enable security researchers to report vulnerabilities on the DoD Information Network (DoDIN) to improve network defense.

The expansion announced today allows for research and reporting of vulnerabilities related to all DOD publicly accessible networks, frequency-based communication, internet of things (IoT), and industrial control systems, according to Brett Goldstein, the director of the Defense Digital Service. Originally, the program was limited to DoD public-facing websites and applications.

Related Resource

X-Force threat intelligence index

Understand the threat landscape with fresh intelligence

X Force threat intelligence indexDownload now

"This expansion is a testament to transforming the government's approach to security and leapfrogging the current state of technology within DOD," he said.

Before the program’s launch, researchers had no way of reporting bugs they found in publicly accessible DoD systems. 

“Because of this, many vulnerabilities went unreported," said Goldstein. "The DOD Vulnerability Policy launched in 2016 because we demonstrated the efficacy of working with the hacker community and even hiring hackers to find and fix vulnerabilities in systems."

Since the launch of the Vulnerability Disclosure Program, security researchers have submitted over 29,000 vulnerability reports. Officials said that over 70% of them were determined to be valid.

Experts believe the expansion will lead to a massive increase in the number of bugs reported to them.

"The department has always maintained the perspective that DOD websites were only the beginning as they account for a fraction of our overall attack surface," said DOD Cyber Crime Center director Kristopher Johnson.

In April, the DoD Cyber Crime Center unveiled a 12-month Defense Industrial Base Vulnerability Disclosure Program (DIB-VDP) pilot to enable security researchers to report flaws in DoD contractor partner’s information systems, web properties, and other identified scoped assets. The 12-month program aspires to employ the lessons learned from existing reports made through the Pentagon’s Vulnerability Disclosure Program.

“The expansion of vulnerability research to participating DoD contractor networks replicates the DoD’s’ success by making participating DoD contractor networks available for vulnerability research,” said the DoD's Cyber Crime Center on its HackerOne webpage. “No technology is perfect, but DC3 believes that working with skilled security researchers across the globe is crucial to identifying their weaknesses.”

Featured Resources

Modern governance: The how-to guide

Equipping organisations with the right tools for business resilience

Free Download

Cloud operational excellence

Everything you need to know about optimising your cloud operations

Watch now

A buyer’s guide to board management software

Improve your board’s performance

The real world business value of Oracle autonomous data warehouse

Lead with a 417% five-year ROI

Download now

Recommended

US companies have less than a five-day supply of semiconductors
components

US companies have less than a five-day supply of semiconductors

26 Jan 2022
UK's first government cyber strategy aims to bolster public sector defences
cyber security

UK's first government cyber strategy aims to bolster public sector defences

25 Jan 2022
Russia's "politically motivated" REvil raid could be used as leverage, experts warn
ransomware

Russia's "politically motivated" REvil raid could be used as leverage, experts warn

17 Jan 2022
Meta files lawsuit to uncover hackers targeting Facebook, WhatsApp
phishing

Meta files lawsuit to uncover hackers targeting Facebook, WhatsApp

21 Dec 2021

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

6 Jan 2022
Sony pulls out of MWC 2022
Business operations

Sony pulls out of MWC 2022

14 Jan 2022
Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better
Laptops

Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better

14 Jan 2022