Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Announcing Project Zero

Posted by Chris Evans, Researcher Herder

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 has led us to create a new, well-staffed team called Project Zero.

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. 

We’re not placing any particular bounds on this project and will work to improve the security of any software depended upon by large numbers of people, paying careful attention to the techniques, targets and motivations of attackers. 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.

We commit to doing our work transparently. Every bug we discover will be filed in an external database. We will only report bugs to the software’s vendor—and no third parties. Once the bug report becomes public (typically once a patch is available), you’ll be able to monitor vendor time-to-fix performance, see any discussion about exploitability, and view historical exploits and crash traces. We also commit to sending bug reports to vendors in as close to real-time as possible, and to working with them to get fixes to users in a reasonable time.

We’re hiring. We believe that most security researchers do what they do because they love what they do. What we offer that we think is new is a place to do what you love—but in the open and without distraction. We’ll also be looking at ways to involve the wider community, such as extensions of our popular reward initiatives and guest blog posts. As we find things that are particularly interesting, we’ll discuss them on this blog, which we hope you’ll follow.


  1. Chris,
    For the Win?

    -----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
    Version: Mailvelope v0.9.0
    Comment: Email security by Mailvelope - https://www.mailvelope.com

    -----END PGP MESSAGE-----

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Where does one apply? I searched for project zero on the Google careers page, but did not notice any relevant hits. I have over 20 years of experience in programming, the last six of which were in automated testing of life-critical engineering calculations.

  4. how does one apply for the position?

    I'm currently trying to fix all of the websites which have their .git/.svn/.hg/.bzr repo available (which could lead to leaked sources, hence a lot of 0days, leaked databases, API credentials, etc). I have fixed about 1500 websites so far but there are lots more.
    I've also notified hundreds of websites about 0days I've found in different third-party libraries.

    I'm doing this because I'm trying to make internet safer.

  5. Good job picking GH, I like his work, and glad he is a Blue/white Hat. I remember back in the day when i submitted Map issues and would get back emails denying the issue existed, and it was patched in < 4 hours. Times have changed, and I for one am glad. I wish Google had more security/infrastructure positions in the Southern CA, but I digress. I agree with Austin, would be interesting hearing what will be found.

  6. Hello, Mr. Google! I have a development that will eliminate all of the servers, Laptop and other mobile gadgets from any hackers. If you do not believe me, we can discuss. If you do, then before the meeting. With best regards, Aleksandr Solodilov (Linkedin)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. And? Any email or online form for CVs?

  9. VCC technology is available
    See victorsheymov.com
    Victor Sheymov Wikipedia

  10. "We're hiring"

    Could you tell how to apply?

  11. http://www.linuxfoundation.org/programs/core-infrastructure-initiative

  12. All for safety, you are with actions that large companies should always keep in mind for the good of its members.

  13. I always desired to learn about Internet Security.
    Somebody could help me given advice?
    How to begin study in this field?

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Need a Canadian security researcher with 20+ years of DevOps and a SSCP certification...count me in.

  16. Over the last 30 years or so, I've reported around 100, probably way more, serious bugs.
    In the VAST majority of cases, from my considerable experience, the bugs never get fixed. There is usually some idiot in the way who's job is to waste my time telling me "it's not a bug", or some other idiot telling me to report it to someone else in his org, because he can't fix it, and sometimes even worse (netscape lawyers sent me a legal threat when I submitted 100 different bugs to their "report a bug, get a T-Shirt competition" - and to rub salt into that wound, I reported a summary, not the details, and they never asked for the details).

    You cannot hope to fix things that people don't want to fix or don't care about, by doing the same thing, again, that everyone else is already doing.

    You need a new way - some kind of blazing in-your-face public way to let us know who you are chasing about a bug, and give us all a big ticking-down clock until the moment (give them 60 days) you shame the crap out of them for doing nothing, and make the bug public.