A diagram explaining the security risks the Internet of Things is facing. Reuters Graphics

In these constantly connected times, as more and more of our electronic devices, gadgets and machines on our person and inside our homes become connected to the internet, security concerns are growing rapidly. And this security vulnerability is most manifest in smart devices and the internet of things (IoT).

In an attempt to address this real concern, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched Wednesday a public challenge. Called “IoT Home Inspector Challenge,” it asks the participating public “to create a technical solution (‘tool’) that consumers can deploy to guard against security vulnerabilities in software on the Internet of Things devices in their homes. The tool would, at a minimum, help protect consumers from security vulnerabilities caused by out-of-date software.”

According to the FTC notification, the challenge carries a prize of up to $25,000 for the winner, and $3,000 each to an unspecified number of honorable mention winners. Both individuals and teams can participate but no one person can make more than one submission. Only U.S. citizens above the age of 18 are eligible to qualify for participation.

The contest is open for registration, and people wanting to participate can sign up and find out more information on this website. The deadline both for registering and submitting entries is 12 p.m. EDT on May 22, 2017 (midnight between May 22 and May 23). Winners will be announced on or around July 27, 2017.