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PS3 hacker GeoHot hired by Google

The hacker behind the breaking of PlayStation 3's anti-piracy measures has been hired by Google to work on the company's latest security initiative, the company confirmed in a blog post on its Project Zero website.

George Hotz, known best by his handle GeoHot, is joining a team dedicated to "improving the security of any software depended upon by large numbers of people, paying careful attention to the techniques, targets and motivations of attackers," reads a statement from Google researcher Chris Evans.

"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," wrote Evans.

"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 aims to locate vulnerabilities in software directly to software developers. "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," Evans explains.

This is a turnaround for Hotz who gained notoriety in 2011 after decrypting the PS3 "root key" and posting it online. Sony took Hotz to court a few months later, resulting in an agreement from Hotz to a permanent injunction preventing him from hacking Sony products in the future.