Google sets up a cybercrime-busting task force -- Project Zero
After unearthing the Heartbleed flaw, Google sets up a research group dedicated to finding vulnerabilities in Web software
IDG News Service - Google has set up an internal task force that will work to expose the activities and techniques of malicious Internet wrongdoers, aiming to cut down on the number of targeted cyberattacks.
"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 Chris Evans, a Google security researcher, in a blog post Tuesday announcing the initiative, called Project Zero. "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."
Earlier this year, a Google researcher unearthed Heartbleed, a serious flaw in the OpenSSL cryptographic library that left millions of websites open to attack.
Google plans to fund more of the kind of research that unearthed Heartbleed. The company has assembled a staff of researchers for Project Zero and plans to hire additional security experts who will be dedicated full time to the project.
"Our objective is to significantly reduce the number of people harmed by targeted attacks," Evans wrote.
The Project Zero team will investigate what techniques and technologies cybercriminals use. In addition, the researchers will investigate ways of shielding users from attacks, through techniques such as analyzing programs to pinpoint weaknesses.
One activity the group will undertake is searching for new bugs in software. Software flaws can be used by malicious attackers to gain illicit entry to a computer system. A zero-day vulnerability is one that is exploited by cybercriminals on the same day it is made public. In these cases, the maintainers of the software must scramble to ship a fix as soon as possible.
Project Zero will build an external database of all the bugs its researchers find and submit results to the companies or other parties that maintain the software.
Google is not alone in its efforts to build an Internet security response team. Hewlett-Packard's TippingPoint also collects information on software vulnerabilities. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security maintains the Common Vulnerability Scoring System, a widely used database for tracking vulnerabilities and assessing their potential severity.
- Deep Security +VMware vSphere with Operations Management Most midsize organizations are highly virtualized on VMware, and while this has produced significant savings, it also has created new challenges when it...
- 3 Questions to Ask Your DNS Host about Lowering DDoS Risks Neustar has had wide-ranging conversations with clients wanting to know how they can optimize protection as DDoS attacks increase in frequency and size.
- The Danger Deepens: 2014 Neustar Annual DDoS Attacks and Impact Report This report compares DDoS findings from 2013 to 2012, based on a survey of 440 North American companies, including 139 businesses delivering technology...
- DDoS Infographic: How Are Attacks Evolving? For the third consecutive year, Neustar surveyed businesses across major industries to track the evolution of DDoS attacks. Are they more frequent? Larger?...
- How to Use Crowd-Sourced Threat Intelligence to Stop Malware in its Tracks Threat sharing networks have been around for a long time, however they have typically been "invitation-only", available to only large companies, or those...
- An Incident Response Playbook: From Monitoring to Operations As cyber-attacks grow more sophisticated, many organizations are investing more into incident detection and response capabilities. In this webcast, learn how to develop... All Malware and Vulnerabilities White Papers | Webcasts