Washington, D.C. – Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Ed Markey (D-MA) today introduced the Hack Your State Department Act, legislation to establish a program for pre-screened professionals to hack the State Department in order to identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Under the legislation, a hacker will be compensated for identifying and disclosing a vulnerability. There will also be a process for the general public to report cybersecurity vulnerabilities to the State Department.


This legislation is modeled after the successful Hack the Department of Homeland Security program that Senator Gardner helped create.


“We need to be doing everything we can to make sure the State Department’s cyber defenses are hardened and can thwart cyber-attacks from bad actors that wish to do our country harm,” said Sen. Gardner. “This bipartisan bill will allow the general public to contribute to our nation’s cyber defenses and will result in a more secure cyber network at the State Department.”


“Our national security agencies are increasingly under assault by sophisticated and malicious cyber-armies,” said Sen. Markey. “Instead of reacting to attacks and breaches after the fact, we must proactively pursue innovative, cost-effective ways to bolster our defenses and protect the State Department, its data, and its employees before harm occurs. This legislation is a powerful tool to build on similar, successful efforts that have helped other agencies like the Defense Department protect themselves in an increasingly hostile cyber environment.”