The foobar challenge: Google's secret hiring program

Earlier this week, while searching on google for "use after free", a kind of memory vulnerability, I had a surprise: the links on the result page stopped working and this strange message appeared.



After some (more) googling, I learned that Google is running a kind of secret hiring program soberly named "the foobar challenge", which is invite-only. Using your search history, an algorithm is tasked to find tech talents around the world. The candidates are then proposed ~5 coding exercises, and if things go well, maybe an interview.

Now what? Am I some kind of Neo or Harry Potter (like my partner believes)? Not at all! It just means that if you are looking for a job at Google, searching for a lot of security and programming related stuff may help get you an invite.

For the curious, here is what it looks like:

Foobar screenshot

My geek instinct couldn't resist accepting the challenge, but these days I'm 100% focus on Black Hat Rust, so I don't have time for coding exercises, as fun as they can be. Still, I've read on the internet that this challenge is really entertaining to solve, so I've put it aside and will come back to it once the book is completed.

I hope that we can do it in Rust or Go 😇

I'll keep you updated about how it ends ;)

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Tags: hacking, entrepreneurship, programming, google

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