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"The 21st century is a digital book. Zola taught HYDRA how to read it. Your bank records, medical histories, voting patterns, e-mails, phone calls, your damn SAT scores. Zola's algorithm evaluates people's past to predict their future."
Jasper Sitwell to Steve Rogers[src]

Zola's Algorithm was a program written by Arnim Zola to identify targets for HYDRA by analyzing people's data available online, including private data, to predict whether they currently posed a threat for the organization or would in the future. It was used in the framework of Project Insight.


"Project Insight requires insight. So I wrote an algorithm."
Arnim Zola to Black Widow[src]

HYDRA scientist Arnim Zola was recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. in the aftermath of World War II thanks to Operation Paperclip. From there, Zola worked to undermine S.H.I.E.L.D. from within and recreate HYDRA with corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. members. Following the Battle of New York, Nick Fury convinced the World Security Council that they needed a surge in threat analysis, which led to the creation of Project Insight. Project Insight involved three Helicarriers, which had been modified by Tony Stark to stay in the air infinitely and synced to a network of targeting satellites launched from the Lemurian Star. The Helicarriers would then eliminate threats globally using an algorithm that could analyze large amounts of personal data and assess potential threats and eliminate them before they could commit crimes. In reality, the algorithm, designed by Zola, had been created to serve HYDRA's purpose, intending to use the Insight Helicarriers to enact a fascist new world order and eliminate anyone who would oppose their regime.

Days before the Insight Helicarriers were to be launched, Fury developed suspicions and hired Georges Batroc to hijack the Lemurian Star so that he could send Natasha Romanoff to download the algorithm for analysis. Unable to access it, however, Fury asked Alexander Pierce to delay Project Insight, which resulted in HYDRA executing an assassination attempt on Fury and another on Captain America. HYDRA moles assigned to Project Insight hijacked the Insight Helicarriers, which were launched in the air. Once they reached working altitude, Zola's algorithm was deployed under orders of Captain Russo and identified thousands of targets to be eliminated, including Stark, Rogers, Maria Hill, Stephen Strange, Bruce Banner and President Matthew Ellis.

However, HYDRA's plans were thwarted by the combined efforts of Rogers, Romanoff, Hill and Sam Wilson, which resulted in the destruction of the Helicarriers and, possibly, the destruction of Zola's algorithm.[1]


"Zola's algorithm is a program... for choosing Insight's targets."
Jasper Sitwell to Steve Rogers[src]

Zola's algorithm was able to review large amounts of personal information and process it in a very short time in order to assess whether an individual was a potential threat to HYDRA. The algorithm analyzed data from various subject areas: financial records, medical histories, voting patterns, and phone conversations as well as all electronic messages.

TotalTargetsNumber .jpeg

When deployed by the Insight Helicarriers, Zola's algorithm could identify up to 715,854 targets at a time.

Identified Targets

"What targets?"
"You. A TV anchor in Cairo, the Undersecretary of Defense, a high school valedictorian in Iowa City. Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, anyone who's a threat to HYDRA. Now, or in the future."
Steve Rogers and Jasper Sitwell[src]

When first activated during the Battle at the Triskelion, Zola's algorithm identified thousands of targets deemed current or potential threats to HYDRA, including the following:

  • Lt. Deborah Adams
  • Gen. Julian Addelman
  • Jerod Allen
  • Ofcr. Daniel Amendan
  • Lt. James Anderson
  • Michael Antinelleis
  • Mike Arthur
  • Isaac Ashland
  • Col. Stephen Ashley
  • Dr. Bruce Banner
  • Gen. Anthony Benson
  • Gen. Rachel Berni
  • Lt. Marcus Bledsoe
  • Steven Blinn
  • Ofc. William Blinn
  • Cynthia Booker
  • David Bowers
  • Lt. Ronald Brinkley
  • Robert Brodeor
  • Lt. Robert Brody
  • Thomas Brody
  • Maj. Barbara Brown
  • Davis Brown
  • Gen. Jason Brown
  • Alex Brudaur
  • Pvt. Marcus Campbell
  • Lt. Paul Campbell
  • Lt. Michael Carrot
  • Jordein Caylur
  • David Chalmers
  • Karen Chan
  • Gabriell Citell
  • Micael Clock
  • Austin Collibe
  • Ofcr. Kimberly Collins
  • Lt. Sally Collins
  • Matthew Commings
  • Chad Corebune
  • Aaron Cross
  • Lt. Kevin Dallas
  • Jeff Dansworth
  • Chris Davis
  • Gen. Martin Davis
  • Pres. Matthew Ellis
  • Craig Faldspar
  • Craig Fasitland
  • Stanly Felnik
  • Chandler Fletcher
  • Elizabeth Franz
  • Christoph Frazer
  • Lt. Aran Frebowitz
  • Christina Frennel
  • Lt. Kevin Garcia
  • Pvt. Jennifer Gast
  • Fred Gnomon
  • Pvt. George Greenwall
  • Benjamin Granlond
  • Gen. Anthony Gray
  • Gen. Joe Gregory
  • Roberta Gronsatti
  • Jeremy Hammers
  • Joseph Harrison II
  • Gen. Betty Hatch
  • Warron Heiwall
  • Lt. Kenneth Hernandez
  • Gen. Alfred J. Higgens
  • Maria Hill
  • Col. Mark Hill
  • Hiro Honda
  • Jeremy Irons
  • Tim Irons
  • Col. Fred Jackson
  • Lt. Christopher Johnson
  • Lt. James Jones
  • Sebastian Jones
  • Stone Jones
  • Wendy Jones
  • Kasey Jonston
  • Lt. José Juarez
  • David Jurgens
  • Col. Kenneth Keghley
  • James Kenburg
  • Col. George Kho
  • Jennifer Kim
  • Mark King
  • Richard Lim Klein
  • Gen. Wendy F. Klein
  • Alex Kolinsky
  • Lt. Aaron Kublainer
  • Maj. Adam Ladenstein
  • Hun Le
  • Pvt. Ryan Lewis
  • Lt. Daniel Light
  • Michael Lindon
  • Tram Lo
  • Dave Logweedus
  • Linoa Long
  • Col. Richard Lopez
  • Lt. Sasha Lopez
  • Jameis Lugan
  • Ofcr. Brandon Mallett
  • Eric Mansfeld
  • Lt. Charles Mansfield
  • Paula Marinez
  • Henry Marker
  • Gen. Sandra Martin
  • Eduardo Martinez
  • Lt. Jose Martinez
  • Lt. Nate Matthews
  • Patricia Mackenna
  • Gen. Mary Miller
  • Alex Millhouse
  • Lt. Joseph Moore
  • Brianna Morkland
  • William Morreston
  • Lt. Kris Mortimer
  • Lt. Sharon Mui
  • Ofcr. James Nelson
  • Roger North
  • Lt. Pippin Ohanna
  • Jan Oldson
  • Eric Parados
  • Jennifer Pernbaum
  • Col. Scott Phillips
  • Gen. Steven Phillips
  • Jorge Pistano
  • Gregory Platt
  • Lt. Scott Plussard
  • Shigeru Poohzoi
  • Molly Probst
  • Maj. Gerard Purkin
  • Gen. Preston Quan
  • Col. Ben Radcon
  • Taylor Renee
  • Jarrod Renzillo
  • Lt. Philioe Robierto
  • Cptn. Steve Rogers
  • Lt. Margaret Rutheford
  • Maria Sandberg
  • Lt. Claus Schindling
  • Claire Sei
  • Anthony Serilla
  • Anderson Shapiro
  • Claire Sho
  • Cooper Singer
  • Karl Smith
  • Lt. Laura Smith
  • Maj. Thomas Smith
  • James Solder
  • Lt. Caleb Sophia
  • Christopher Sorensen
  • Lt. Nancy St. James
  • Anthony Stark
  • Gen. Frank Stephens
  • SPencer Sterms
  • Pvt. Carter Stevenson
  • Steve Stoarns
  • Dr. Stephen Strange
  • Paul Struper
  • George Sturgeon
  • Lt. Brian Taylor
  • Brian Tellalian
  • Lt. William Thompson
  • Daniel Thomson
  • Thomas Thorns
  • Tonya Timmens
  • Lt. Jr Townsed
  • Erin Vasgues
  • Jeffrey Welker
  • Christoph West
  • Jeremy White
  • Cptn. Mark White
  • Col. Charles Wilson
  • Wes Woon
  • Lt. Paul Wright
  • Ki Wu
  • Fred Yon
  • Lt. Benjamin Young
  • Lt. Helen Young