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Big tech companies offer millions to help with Heartbleed crisis

BOSTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The world's biggest technology companies have agreed to donate millions of dollars to set up a group that will fund improvements in open source programs like OpenSSL, the software whose "Heartbleed" bug has sent the computer industry into turmoil.

Amazon.com Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Facebook Inc, Google Inc, IBM, Intel Corp and Microsoft Corp are among a dozen companies that have agreed to be founders of the group, known as Core Infrastructure Initiative. Each will donate $300,000 to the venture.

The non-profit Linux Foundation announced formation of the group on Thursday.

It will support development of open source software that makes up critical parts of the world's technology infrastructure, but whose developers do not necessarily have adequate funding to support their work, said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)