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Google sets up crack team to fight the NSA: 'Project Zero' will recruit top hackers

Google is setting up a crack team of hackers to protect internet users from government snooping and cyber-attacks.

  Source http://goo.gl/zwwZYO

The firm says its 'project zero' will look at everything from accidental flaws in code, known as zero day bugs, to major government operations.

It also aims to make Google's own service more secure, and make encryption easier for people to use.

'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, who is leading the project, said.

'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.'

The success of that part-time research led the firm to set up Project Zero.

'In sophisticated attacks, we see the use of 'zero-day' vulnerabilities to target, for example, human rights activists or to conduct industrial espionage.'

So-called 'zero-day; exploits take advantage of unpatched flaws that programmers have not had time to fix.

There is a thriving black market for the exploits, which can often be sold for thousands of dollars.

This needs to stop. We think more can be done to tackle this problem.

'We're hiring the best practically-minded security researchers and contributing 100% of their time toward improving security across the Internet.

Speaking to Wired, Evans said the project would also target malware downloaded via website.

'People deserve to use the internet without fear that vulnerabilities out there can ruin their privacy with a single website visit,

'We’re going to try to focus on the supply of these high value vulnerabilities and eliminate them.'

Recently, the NSA was accused of keeping details about the colossal Heartbleed bug hidden before it was eventually caught in part by Google’s researchers and patched.

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