Usually, the U.S. Defence Department aren’t super keen on hackers trying to access their sensitive information, understandably.
And it’s fair to say doing so would normally land you in a shit ton of trouble, take Edward Snowden for example with the NSA. But for this one teenager it’s a completely different story.
High school student David Dworken, 18, from Washington D.C., managed to hack into Pentagon websites in-between classes, The Mirror reports.
He found six vulnerabilities in total and immediately reported it to the authorities. David has since been one of two people praised by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
We know that state-sponsored actors and black-hat hackers want to challenge and exploit our networks. What we didn’t fully appreciate before this pilot was how many white hat hackers there are who want to make a difference.
The Pentagon had previously asked 1,400 people to attempt to hack in to their system, offering rewards from $100 (£70) to $15,000 (£10,450) to those who managed to make their way in.
Handing out rewards to hackers has become more and more common in recent years, with Facebook’s ‘bug bounty’ program recently rewarding a 10-year-old with $10,000 (£7,000) for finding flaws within Instagram.
Unfortunately for David though, he did not receive a sum because these particular bugs had already been found, but his success could help him get internships in the near future.
In total, 138 vulnerabilities were found during the project, the Pentagon said.