SAN FRANCISCO, April 24 (Xinhua) -- A dozen U.S. leading technology companies, including Facebook, Amazon and Google, have pledged to fund and support open source projects key to the global information infrastructure in the wake of the "Heartbleed" crisis, the Linux Foundation announced Thursday.
"Heartbleed" is a major bug in the open-source software OpenSSL which rocked the Internet and web security community when it was discovered earlier this month, leaving two thirds of the world's websites vulnerable to attack.
OpenSSL is widely-used encryption software which secures websites and technology products, including mobile phones, data center software and telecommunications equipment.
The Linux Foundation project, known as the Core Infrastructure Initiative, will allow the participating companies to collaboratively identify and fund open source projects that are in need of assistance by providing fellowships to key developers and offering outside reviews and security audits, among others.
Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, IBM and others that have joined the initiative have pledged to invest 100,000 U.S. dollars each over the next three years.
OpenSSL will be the first project to receive support. In past years, it was reportedly maintained and upgraded by only one full-time developer and a small number of volunteers with an annual budget of about 2,000 U.S. dollars from donations.
Open source software refers to software that uses an open development process and is licensed to include the source code.