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Google's Project Zero team tasked with finding zero-day security exploits

Google has now announced Project Zero, a new team that will be tasked with finding security exploits in both 1st and 3rd party software.
July 15, 2014
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The Internet is supposed to be a magical place full of social networks, vast libraries of knowledge, entertainment, p0rn, and unicorns. Unfortunately, it’s also sometimes a place where you have to tread carefully, as zero-day exploits could be lying in wait within your favorite web-connected apps and services. Thankfully Google has announced a new effort called Project Zero, aimed at making the Internet a safer place, one exposed exploit at a time.

In an official blog post, Google says “you should be able to use the web without fear that a criminal or state-sponsored actor is exploiting software bugs to infect your computer, steal secrets or monitor your communications”. We couldn’t agree more, but solving the problem is a pretty tall order. So what exactly is Project Zero? In short, it is a group of full-time security researchers at Google who will work to discover and stop potential exploits like Heartbleed. This goes way beyond finding zero-day exploits in Google’s own software, as the team will also be on the lookout for other exploits in various apps, websites and other software.

Project Zero is a group of full-time security researchers, tasked with discovering and stopping potential zero-day exploits

From the sounds of it, the project is in good hands with one of the newest hires being George Hotz, who first rose to fame when he cracked AT&T’s lock on the iPhone in 2007 and later when he hacked the PS3. In addition to this, we have Google’s Ben Hawkes — who has discovered dozens of bugs in Adobe Flash and MS Office, and Tavis Ormandy — a researcher with a rep for hunting bugs and for pointing out zero-day flaws in many so-called antivirus solutions. Google also has a several other team members coming aboard and emphasizes that they will continue to bring on new talent as the effort progresses.

Obviously Project Zero won’t make exploits and other internet security issues disappear over night, but we still have to applaud Google for taking the initiative and going a step further towards making the web a better place.