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The US Army wants you to look at code it uses to spot cyberattacks

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Believe it or not, the US government doesn't always keep its cyberwarfare code a secret. The Army Research Lab has quietly posted the source code for Dshell, a tool it uses to both spot and understand cyberattacks against the Department of Defense. The hope is that this open-door policy will not only help other countries and companies defend against hackers, but help improve the US military's own safeguards -- if you have a knack for digital security, you could spot flaws or offer improvements.

Only a handful of people have used the code so far, but the Army's William Glodek expects to see a diverse group contributing to the software within a matter of months. He's also looking for more projects that could get similar treatment. It's doubtful that this open-sourcing effort will ever be as popular as a big Linux distribution. However, popularity isn't the point -- it's more important as a shift in policy that could see the American military working with the internet community to fight threats, rather than focusing solely on its own interests.

[Image credit: US Army, Flickr]

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