Earlier this year, a massive internet vulnerability known as Heartbleed claimed to be the biggest bug the internet has seen in years.
Now, Google is taking another measure to make sure hidden internet vulnerabilities don't get out of hand with an effort known as Project Zero.
Project Zero is a new team of well-staffed security researchers at Google, according to the company's official blog.
The initiative gets its name from the term "zero-day," which refers to an attack or threat that targets a software issue that was previously unknown. Heartbleed is a perfect example of a zero-day attack, since it was a problem that went unnoticed for a long time before Google fixed it.
Here's how Google describes the initiative:
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. Project Zero is our contribution, to start the ball rolling. Our objective is to significantly reduce the number of people harmed by targeted attacks. We're hiring the best practically-minded security researchers and contributing 100% of their time toward improving security across the Internet.
Project Zero isn't restricted to finding bugs in Google's products, however. The team will be free to roam the entire web to find vulnerabilities in any product. Earlier this week, for example, the Project Zero team reportedly fixed bugs in recent updates for Apple's Mac and iPhone software, according to eWeek .
Wired got an early look at Project Zero before Google's official announcement, and wrote a lengthy profile on the project and the security researchers it has on staff so far. In Google's blog post, however, the company emphasized that it's still hiring.
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