George Francis Hotz, known to most as GeoHot, started his hacking career back in June 2007 when he was the first person to carrier unlock an iPhone. On the 13th of October 2009 he released the first Jailbreak for the iPhone and iPod known as "Blackra1n" and on January 26th 2010, he released the Playstation 3 security exploit which led onto the Jailbreak and Playstation Network being down for a month, costing Sony $170 million in losses, and although he wasn't involved in hacking Playstation Network, Sony took legal proceedings against him and those were eventually settled by Hotz agreeing not to hack a Sony product ever again, every time he'd break that promise, he would have to pay a $10,000 fine. It was later discovered that Hotz worked for Facebook since May 2011 but in January 2012 Hotz was no longer employed by Facebook and his role in that company is still unknown.
On the 16th of July 2014, it was announced that the 24-year-old was hired by Google to work on a security initiative known as Project Zero, where hackers are paid to find vulnerabilities in software. He recently discovered a Google Chrome exploit and was awarded $150,000 by Google for doing so. Hotz will now be trying to find security bugs in Google's software which "will be filed in an external database", according to Chris Evans. It seems that after huge internet security vulnerabilities such as Heartbleed, Google wants to make sure that something like this never happens and they want to ensure that the internet will be a safer place for us all.
Hotz working for Google is certainly a good thing. He is one of the brightest hackers of our time and anything he finds, will get patched and that will benefit us. We shouldn't have to worry about losing personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers because a browser or website has an exploit that allows this information to be stolen. The fact that Google is giving out very significant bonuses to people like Hotz for finding exploits acts as a motivating factor that will make the employees have the will to look deeper for bugs/exploits and in the long run Project Zero will make the whole internet safer, everywhere, not just parts of the internet affiliated with Google.
Project Zero is still recruiting new members. The team will give companies responsible for bugs time periods to patch them, with the period being shorter if the bug is already being exploited. Once that time period is over, if the bug is not patched, "the Project Zero team will publicly reveal the bug on its blog." It's an interesting way to put pressure on companies to patch bugs in their software and it's going to be exciting to see how this works out.