PS3 Hacker Gets a Top Security Job at Google

George "GeoHot" Hotz hired by massive technology company to work on a security initiative called "Project Zero."

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George Hotz, a hacker who rose to fame for unlocking the iPhone and jailbreaking the PlayStation 3, has now been hired by Google to join a security initiative known as "Project Zero." Most recently, Hotz unearthed a Google Chrome exploit and was paid $150,000 for the discovery.

"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," Google's Chris Evans writes on the company's website. "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."

That's where Project Zero comes in. Google says the objective for this initiative is to "significantly reduce the number of people harmed by targeted attacks." Evans added that Google is "hiring the best practically minded security researchers and contributing 100 percent of their time toward improving security across the Internet."

Evans writes that Project Zero's work will be conducted transparently. "Every bug we discover will be filed in an external database," he says. "We will only report bugs to the software's vendor--and no third parties."

Google's hiring of Hotz was not mentioned in Evans' blog post about Project Zero, but tech sites Ars Technica and Wired are both reporting the move. Hotz previously worked at Facebook.

After Hotz revealed his PS3 workaround in 2011, Sony sued the hacker, who goes by the name "GeoHot." However, Hotz and Sony would later settle their dispute, with the understanding that Hotz is henceforth forbidden from circumventing any technological protection measures on any Sony product. Hotz faces a $10,000 fine, per violation, should he defy the injunction.

Hotz was not involved in the 2011 attacks on Sony's websites and the PlayStation Network that brought those services down for multiple weeks, costing Sony over $170 million.

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