As part of an apparent effort to find holes in its network, the US Department of Defense has given a tiny Florida company control over about 175 million of its IP addresses, The Washington Post reported.
Global Resource Systems began managing the IP addresses on January 20th, part of what a Pentagon spokesperson told the Post was a “pilot effort” to “identify potential vulnerabilities” and “prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space.”
The Department of Defense still owns the IP addresses. Global Resource Systems was founded in September, according to the Post, which was not able to find any other federal contracts for the company or any public-facing website.
The initiative is apparently being run by a group within the Pentagon called Defense Digital Service, which solves problems and does technology experiments for the military. The group reports directly to the secretary of defense.
What exactly Global Resource Systems has been tasked with doing for the DoD isn’t known, but the Post found it sent a “fire house of internet traffic” at the DoD IP addresses. One security expert speculated that it may give the DoD information about how attackers operate online, and any possibly misconfigurations that need to be repaired.