The Technology Transformation Service is looking to hackers they’ve never met to help secure its wares.
TTS, a wing of the General Services Administration that helps agencies develop public-facing tech products, announced in a blog post Thursday night it would launch a “bug bounty,” a public cash award to anyone who can report a cybersecurity flaw in its work.
The start date of the program is still being determined and the specific products that are eligible has not been announced.
Bug bounties are popular in the private sector as a means to supplement internal security checking.
At present, the General Services Administration will be the first civilian agency to launch a bug bounty, but several programs have been successfully run in the military. The first, “Hack the Pentagon,” turned up nearly 140 vulnerabilities for which the Department of Defense paid a bounty in a little under a month. The Pentagon estimates that it spent $150,000 running the program for $1 million worth of comparable work from a private contractor.
Awards for the TTS bug bounty will range between $300 and $5,000.