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17 April 2013, 17:02

Ex-hacker Mudge is "getting the band back together" at Google

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Peiter Zatko
Zoom Peiter "Mudge" Zatko
Source: US Department of Defense

Former hacker Peiter "Mudge" Zatko has been working for the US government for several years, but he now says he is "getting the band back together", presumably at his new employer Google. Mudge, who, among other things, developed the hacking tool L0phtCrack (used to crack Windows passwords), had recently been working for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) which is part of the Department of Defense.

Mudge and his former boss at DARPA, Regina Dugan, will now be working at Google, according to a tweet which confirmed a report that appeared in The Security Ledger. At DARPA, Mudge had been leading the agency's information security initiatives. At Google, he will be joining the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group of its Motorola Mobility subsidiary. As the name would suggest, ATAP has a similar focus to DARPA, being a skunkworks-inspired research and development division.

In the 1990s, Peiter Zatko was part of the hacker think-tank L0pht and the Cult of the Dead Cow hacker and do-it-yourself organisation. He is known for being one of the first researchers to have looked into the danger of buffer overflows and is also a prominent spokesperson for the concept of full disclosure. As well as L0phtCrack, Mudge has also developed tools like AntiSniff and L0pht-Watch. In 1998, Mudge astonished the US Senate with his claim that he could disable the internet in 30 minutes.

Mudge in front of the US Senate in 1998


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