If you have been part of the jailbreaking scene for a number of years, you are probably well aware of who George “Geohot” Hotz is. The infamous hacker released the last bootrom exploit called limera1n for the iPhone around four years ago, and was later involved in a Sony lawsuit for jailbreaking the PlayStation 3.
In recent years, however, Hotz has taken a focus on Android and even came up with an exploit to root the Samsung Galaxy S5. Now, his hacking talent appears to be paying dividends. According to Wired, Hotz has joined Google’s Project Zero team, a group of hackers tasked with tracking down security vulnerabilities in software.
Hotz, who is said to be an intern on the team, will hunt down “zero-day” vulnerabilities that could otherwise be exploited by criminals if not patched. Google is not shy from paying for his services, either, giving the 24-year-old a $150,000 reward for helping fix Google Chrome vulnerabilities he uncovered earlier this year.
The report elaborates on how the process works:
“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,” Researcher Herder Chris Evans stated.
I will always remember Hotz for his contributions to the jailbreaking community in its early days, but I certainly wish him all the best in his new “white hat” hacking efforts. It’s hard to blame him for taking advantage of the opportunity he has found himself in, and our devices will be more secure to boot.
On a related note, do you think we’ll ever see a bootrom-level jailbreak again?