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DARPA Invites Hackers to Break Hardware to Make It More Secure

By CyberScoop

June 15, 2020

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The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is inviting elite white-hat hackers to identify vulnerabilities in computer chips prior to their deployment in weapons systems or other critical technologies, offering a $25,000 bounty for each bug they uncover.

The agency has enlisted Synack, a Silicon Valley-based penetration testing company, to audition potential hackers.

Synack-approved hackers will tweak existing exploits to determine whether the DARPA-backed hardware can block them, trying to breach systems hosted in cloud computing networks.

DARPA's Keith Rebello said the goal is to weed out as many vulnerabilities as possible prior to deployment, which can help the hardware industry break its "vicious cycle" of patching weak systems that have already been deployed.

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