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Senate Bill Would Establish DHS ‘Bug Bounty’ Program

Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have introduced a bill that seeks to establish a bug bounty pilot program to boost the Department of Homeland Security‘s cyber defense.

The Hack Department of Homeland Security Act would require DHS to enlist “white-hat” or ethical hackers to report vulnerabilities within its networks and data systems, Hassan’s office said Friday.

The bug bounty initiative would be modeled after similar programs of the Defense Department and technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple as well as provide monetary rewards to participants who uncover vulnerabilities.

The legislation would also require the DHS Secretary to coordinate with the Attorney General to assure that participants will not face prosecutions for their work in the program.

Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) and Kamala Harris (D-California) also co-sponsored the bill.

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