Peiter Zatko, a respected computer security researcher better known by the nickname Mudge, says he’s leaving his job at Google to head up a new government agency for the White House.
Zatko didn’t return my messages seeking more details, but the agency he’s setting up would appear to be a government-backed third-party entity that would test any software and systems with a bearing on U.S. National Security. When L0pht first proposed the idea, the sudden popularity of the Internet both among consumers and businesses was putting public safety at risk. Security software isn’t always as good as its creators claim. “The lack of standards and meaningful certification has allowed the sale of products that are either intentionally or unintentionally snake-oil,” the group argued at the time.