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Google’s Motorola Mobility Taps U.S. Defense Agency for Talent

Google Inc. hired a top cybersecurity official from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known for developing technologies that helped create the Internet and stealth fighter plane.

Peiter Zatko is one of several officials the Motorola Mobility unit of Mountain View, California-based Google has hired from the Pentagon office.

The division, which develops consumer mobile devices and related software, hired Zatko to work on its Advanced Technology and Projects team, Gabe Madway, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail today.

Zatko served as a Darpa program manager from March 2010 until this month, managing cybersecurity programs that funded startup companies and helped develop technologies to detect threats and defend military networks, the agency said in an e-mail today.

Madway didn’t specify what Zatko, known in hacker circles by the handle Mudge, would be doing at the company. Zatko didn’t respond to e-mails requesting comment about his job change.

Motorola Mobility was acquired by Google last year and created the Advanced Technology and Projects team “to deliver breakthrough innovations to the company’s product line on seemingly impossible short timeframes,” according to the company’s website.

At least three other former Darpa officials have been hired to work on the team, including Regina Dugan, who served as the federal agency’s director from 2009 to 2012. Dugan leads the team. Her deputy is Kaigham Gabriel, former deputy director of Darpa.

The group also includes Paul Eremenko, former deputy director of Darpa’s Tactical Technology Office, which is responsible for space, ground vehicle and robotics efforts, according to the company’s website.

The team’s technical advisory board includes Vint Cerf, a former Darpa program manager who has been called the father of the Internet.

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