Project Zero – Google is hiring the hacking excellence to improve Internet security

Pierluigi Paganini July 16, 2014

Project Zero is the new initiative announced by Google. The company is hiring the top security experts to make the Internet a more secure place.

Google has publicly announced a new program called “Project Zero,” an ambitious project which involves a team of Star Hackers and Bug Hunters with the purpose to improve security of the Internet. Google company has always considered security a top priority for its products and services, and now it desires to promote the research to secure the Internet.
“Security is a top priority for Google. We’ve invested a lot in making our products secure, including strong SSL encryption by default for Search, Gmail and Drive, as well as encrypting data moving between our data centers. Beyond securing our own products, interested Googlers also spend some of their time on research that makes the Internet safer, leading to the discovery of bugs like Heartbleed.” states the official announcement from Google.
Google hired a team of top security researchers that will work to discover most severe security vulnerabilities in applications and services around the world and to fix them.
Project Zero 2
It is clear the intent of Google to support the research to mitigate the risks of exploitation of previously unknown flaws, also known as zero-day vulnerabilities, by the cybercrime, Intelligence agencies and state-sponsored hackers.
The real problem related to zero-day is the window of exposure that is the period in which hackers exploit the vulnerability before world wide security community respond applying needed countermeasures. 

“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. Yet in sophisticated attacks, we see the use of “zero-day” vulnerabilities to target, for example, human rights activists or to conduct industrial espionage. This needs to stop. We think more can be done to tackle this problem.” wrote Chris Evans from Google’s Chrome security team, the expert that will lead Project Zero.

Project Zero is born to significantly reduce the number of targeted attacks which daily exploit flaws in the Internet systems and applications, for the success of the initiative Google is hiring “the best practically-minded security researchers“.
Ok, now you are thinking who are the members of the Project Zero team already hired?
Google has already recruited many experts, following the most popular hackers of the Project Zero team:
  • Ben Hawkes – an independent researcher from New Zealand which discovered dozens of bugs in many software, including Adobe Flash and Microsoft Office.
  • George Hotz – the hacker which become popular for the hack of Sony PlayStation 3, iPhone, Google’s Chrome browser and the recent Towelroot for mobile Android devices.
  • Tavis Ormandy – Information Security Engineer at Google and who discovered many zero-day software in many applications.
The team of Project Zero will work to discover zero-day vulnerabilities in popular softwares, once discovered the flaws, the hackers will report them to the vendors releasing the full vulnerability disclosure only when the a patch will be available. Every bug will be filed transparently in an external database.

We’ll use standard approaches such as locating and reporting large numbers of vulnerabilities. In addition, we’ll be conducting new research into mitigations, exploitation, program analysis—and anything else that our researchers decide is a worthwhile investment.” Chris Evans said.

Google is intentioned to provide an historical contribution to the Infosec Community … let’s hope that Intelligence agencies will not access to the work of the team.

Pierluigi Paganini

Security Affairs –  (Project Zero, zero-day)

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