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PS3 hacker GeoHot joins Google

First person to crack the iPhone now interning on web giant's Project Zero, hunting vulnerabilities in popular software

George Hotz, a hacker whose claims to fame include jailbreaking the iPhone in 2007 and opening up the PlayStation 3 in 2010, has landed a job with Google. According to Wired, Hotz--often referred to as GeoHot--has accepted an internship at Google working with an all-star team of hackers to discover the most serious of software vulnerabilities.

Headed up by Google security engineer Chris Evans, Project Zero's remit is to find the flaws in popular software--whether it's from Google or other companies--that are exploited by criminals and government intelligence agencies alike. One reason Google is devoting resources to fixing other companies' products is because offerings like the Chrome web browser rely on the security of the operating systems they run on, as well as third-party programs like Adobe Flash.

"If we increase user confidence in the internet in general, then in a hard-to-measure and indirect way, that helps Google too," Evans said.

The group also includes Ben Hawkes, Tavis Ormandy, and Ian Beer, and is still hiring more talent. While Evans said the program was primarily altruistic, he acknowledged Project Zero could also benefit Google by getting brilliant hackers into the company, where they may later decide to move to other teams.

When Google's team finds a bug, it will inform the company responsible and give them between 60 and 90 days to patch the problem. If they don't, the Project Zero team will publicly reveal the bug on its blog. In cases where the bug is already being exploited that grace period can be shortened to seven days.

Image credit: Tribune Review, Andrew Russell/AP

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Latest comments (4)

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany2 years ago
This is one of the reasons why we'll keep getting bigger and more aggressive hacking. I think instead of developing my career in gaming through the years I should just write some scripts, hit the Pentagon or The Kremlin and after two-three years in jail get a über-paid job in a big company.

Don't you love when companies reward criminals more than their everyday workers?
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Robert Abercrombie Assistant Producer, Vanguard Entertainment Group2 years ago
If you think that these people are hired just because they wrote some scripts and should be labeled as criminals, you sir, are very naive.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 2 years ago
Nothing new under the sun. Hackers have been rewarded for their efforts - by investors, by companies, by the public - for years. Jobs and Woz phreaking, hacking and hanging out with Cap'n Crunch was, what, 35 years ago? More recently, Kevin Mitnick's been running a security firm, and Kevin Poulsen has been a writer and reporter for Wired for a few years now. And I would be very surprised if there weren't any ex-Scene crackers who weren't in legitimate positions in the industry due to their knowledge of cracking DRM.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany2 years ago
@Robert
Can we please use logic a bit here? Because If I really need to point out the sarcastic tone in my comment then I'm not he person you should be calling "naive" :P.
BTW: I would expect that kind of answer in IGN forums, not here.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 21st July 2014 8:37am

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