This article originally appeared on VICE US.
Tracking hacking groups has become a booming business. Dozens of so-called “threat intelligence” companies keep tabs on them and sell subscriptions to feeds where they provide customers with up to date information on what the most advanced cyber criminals and government hackers are up to.
Lots of these are small companies, but one of the best in the business you’ve definitely heard of: Google.
Although Google’s own hacker hunting team is focused more on protecting Google users than selling a particular threat intelligence product, the task is essentially much the same; find the bad guys, understand what they’re doing, and let others know so users can be safer online.
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What gives Google its distinct advantage in this space is its truly staggering data sets. The internet giant has more than 1.5 billion active users on Gmail, more than 1 billion people who use Chrome, and more than 2 billion of their Android phones in users’ hands. That data comes some serious insight into what hackers all around the world are doing.
This week, CYBER host Ben Makuch talks to Shane Huntley, the Director of Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG). TAG is essentially Google’s hacker hunting team: they’re the ones tasked with monitoring Google networks for criminal and government hacking groups.
“We haven’t had a really big incident in a long time, in core Google, and there’s always that back of the mind of—is there some actor that’s going to come for us that I don’t know about?” Huntley says in this episode.