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Teen hacker praised for hacking Defense Department website

It is near to impossible when  the head of US Defense Department praises hacker for hacking the department website. A high school student Da...

It is near to impossible when  the head of US Defense Department praises hacker for hacking the department website.

A high school student David Dworken was praised by Ash Carter, Secretary of Defense, for hacking the US Defense Department website.The 18-year-old used to spend 10 to 15 hours between classes on his laptop, hacking the websites.

“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,” Carter said at a ceremony where he also thanked Craig Arendt, a security consultant at Stratum Security.

Defense Department has launched a pilot project this year in which more than 1,400 participants took part, and found 138 valid reports of vulnerabilities, the Pentagon said. The pilot project was restricted  to public websites and the hackers are not allowed to access highly sensitive areas.

The U.S. government blamed China and Russia, saying they have tried to access government systems in the past.

According to the Pentagon they paid a total of about $75,000 to the successful hackers. The pilot project cost $150,000, including the reward money, and several follow-up initiatives

Teen hacker Dworken, who graduated from Maret high school in Washington, D.C., said he reported six vulnerabilities, but received no reward because they had already been reported.

However, he had already been approached by recruiters about potential internships.

“It’s not a small sum, but if we had gone through the normal process of hiring an outside firm to do a security audit and vulnerability assessment, which is what we usually do, it would have cost us more than $1 million,” Carter said.

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