The Linux Foundation will hire two full-time staff to work on the OpenSSL standard following the devastating Heartbleed saga. Funding for work on the Network Time Protocol and OpenSSH standards is also being made available.
The recruitment of two full-time staff follows on from the formation of the "Core Infrastructure Initiative" (CII) by The Linux Foundation with backing from major tech giants such as Facebook, Intel and Microsoft after the Heartbleed saga.
The CII is designed to offer technology companies, industry stakeholders and developers a means to collaboratively fund open source projects.
Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, said it was essential to provide the necessary support for key technology like OpenSSL so businesses can ensure open source software solutions are secure and properly supported.
"All software development requires support and funding. Open source software is no exception and warrants a level of support on par with the dominant role it plays supporting today's global information infrastructure," said Zemlin.
"CII implements the same collaborative approach that is used to build software to help fund the most critical projects. The aim of CII is to move from the reactive, crisis-driven responses to a measured, proactive way to identify and fund those projects that are in need. I am thrilled that we now have a forum to connect those in need with those with funds."
Zemlin's comments come after a critical flaw, codenamed Heartbleed, was discovered in Open SSL. The flaw was discovered by researchers with a Finnish company called Codenomicon at the start of April and affected millions of web servers around the world.
The CII was set up later in April in response to Heartbleed. Founding companies included Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, Qualcomm, Rackspace, VMware, IBM, Google and Fujitsu.
The Linux Foundation has also announced Adobe, Bloomberg, HP, Huawei and Salesforce.com have joined the CII and it has created a new CII Advisory Board.
The Advisory Board will help pick future funding projects and is comprised of numerous big names in the technology industry including Bruce Schneier, who voiced his shock at the scale of Heartbleed when it first hit the headlines.
Other advisers include research professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University, Matthew Green, internet freedom and technology activist Dan Meredith, program officer for human rights at the MacArthur Foundation, Eric Sears, and famed Linux kernel developer Ted T’so.
Prior to the initiative's creation, the president of the OpenSSL Software Foundation Steve Marquess criticised governments and major companies for not providing funding to the project despite using the software.
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