Weapons are a critical part of war, and having better weapons than the other guy is rarely a bad thing. So it's no surprise when you hear about the Navy building a $12 billion next-generation aircraft carrier, testing ship-mounted laser and railguns, or buying the hottest aircraft.
Of course, those are all weapons for conventional war. Given that digital cyberwar is a real possibility, it also shouldn't surprise you that the Navy, or any other branch of the military, is looking to stockpile digital weapons.
In other words, the military is looking for security flaws that they can patch in its systems or exploit in an enemy's systems. Unfortunately, the Navy just got a little too public about it.
According to Engadget, the Electronic Frontier Foundation found a posting from the Navy "soliciting for both zero-day exploits and recently discovered vulnerabilities (less than six months old) for relatively common software from the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft."
From the language, the EFF guesses the Navy was looking to use the flaws more for attack than defense. Of course, the American government also has a rule that it will disclose exploits to program developers in a timely manner to protect the general public.
So, the question is whether or not the government will leave you at risk longer so it can attack someone digitally. I guess we'll find out.
Would you rather have more secure software or let our military have a potential edge in a cyberwar? Let me know in the comments.