Apple recruits former Microsoft, Mozilla security chief

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The former security chief for the Mozilla Corporation and security lead for Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 has moved on to Apple, where she will serve as the senior security product manager, according to a new report.



Window Snyder's first day at Apple was Monday, according to PC World. While it noted that Apple was the "third browser-maker in the past five years that has employed Snyder," it did not indicate whether she would work on the Safari browser or some other technology for the Cupertino, Calif., company.



The Internet Explorer browser was not the main focus in her tenure at Microsoft, where Snyder was credited with pioneering the Blue Hat program, initiating communications between developers at the Redmond, Wash., software giant and outside security researchers. A profile in USA Today in 2008 noted this was done at a time wen "Microsoft was loath to share technical information with those outside" the company's headquarters.



At Mozilla, Snyder carried a tongue-in-cheek title of "chief security something-or-other," and she oversaw security for the company's popular Firefox Web browser. While most Mozilla programmers work on the open source software for free, Snyder earned a salary through the Mozilla Corporation.



Snyder left Mozilla in 2008 to work on something she said she has "always been passionate about." She has worked as a consultant for the past year.



Apple has regularly looked to improve security in its products. In 2009, the company posted a job listing as it was looking to hire a security manager for the iPhone OS. The Cupertino, Calif., based position would have someone oversee its team which secures booting and installation of the iPhone OS, and works to protect and harden it against outside threats.



Last May, Apple hired Ivan Krstic, developer of the security architecture for the One Laptop Per Child's XO system. Krstic is a prodigy security guru with anti-malware credentials.



When it launched last summer, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard included basic malware protection that provides users with a warning when disk images are opened containing known malware installers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Microsoft doesn't exactly have a reputation for good security. Why not hire someone from NSA or something like that.
  • Reply 2 of 38
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Microsoft doesn't exactly have a reputation for good security. Why not hire someone from NSA or something like that.





    you would be surprised. after XP shipped they made security a priority. a lot of people say they are better than Apple because they are more open about it rather than keep everything a secret. Apple is going to have to do the same thing if they want to grow market share past 10%.



    with Windows 2008 R2/Windows 7 the old WIndows NT/2000/2003/XP code is gone except for backwards compatibility. Windows is now more modular like UNIX and will be even more modular going forward. Windows 7 has been out for a year if you count the beta and there hasn't been any exploits except the SMB BSOD issue which was fixed and didn't result in any security issues
  • Reply 3 of 38
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,775member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Microsoft doesn't exactly have a reputation for good security. Why not hire someone from NSA or something like that.



    I suspect Apple know what they are doing and that she isn't responsible for any M$ issues.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,802member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    you would be surprised. after XP shipped they made security a priority. a lot of people say they are better than Apple because they are more open about it rather than keep everything a secret. Apple is going to have to do the same thing if they want to grow market share past 10%.



    with Windows 2008 R2/Windows 7 the old WIndows NT/2000/2003/XP code is gone except for backwards compatibility. Windows is now more modular like UNIX and will be even more modular going forward. Windows 7 has been out for a year if you count the beta and there hasn't been any exploits except the SMB BSOD issue which was fixed and didn't result in any security issues



    All XP does is alert you that "your computer might be at risk", and that if you click this or download that, your computer might get infected. God forbid you should purchase Windows with the virtually un-installable Mcafee or NAV.



    Snyder is not to be trusted, and I think Apple will eventually "fall to the communists".
  • Reply 5 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I suspect Apple know what they are doing and that she isn't responsible for any M$ issues.



    Yep....I agree! Sounds like a very smart person!
  • Reply 6 of 38
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,884member
    Is her name really Window Snyder? What's her middle name, Wysiwyg?
  • Reply 7 of 38
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Her first name is Windows!!
  • Reply 8 of 38
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii;


    Microsoft doesn't exactly have a reputation for good security. Why not hire someone from NSA or something like that.



    Windows 7 is considered to have great security and, yes, better than the Mac. The Mac has security through obscurity. Of course it always better to have a house in Beverly Hills with minimum security than living in the ghetto with maximum security.



    As it stands now, Safari is generally considered to be the least secure browser even though it's my browser of choice. I'd never use it on Windows though. It is has continually been the first one to go down in the Pwn2Own contests.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    ilogicilogic Posts: 298member
    Please tell me her name is not Window...
  • Reply 10 of 38
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Microsoft doesn't exactly have a reputation for good security. Why not hire someone from NSA or something like that.



    Um, because she's not a security expert, but rather the manager you hire to lead the team of security experts?
  • Reply 11 of 38
    quevarquevar Posts: 101member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    with Windows 2008 R2/Windows 7 the old WIndows NT/2000/2003/XP code is gone except for backwards compatibility. Windows is now more modular like UNIX and will be even more modular going forward.



    They still have a lot of old code that is infecting Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8499859.stm



    I'll agree that Windows has gotten better, but it's far from being flawless. One of the best security models out there is diversity. Any company that relies upon a single operating system is just asking for eventual problems. With so many people using one OS, these issues are bound to happen. If there was an even split between multiple operating systems, the computing realm would be a much better place. Security would be better since each OS would have different models and the effort to break in would be less for each one. More importantly, if one was compromised, you'd still have other functioning ones. If sensitive data was set up intelligently (which is a big IF in some cases), then you'd have to bypass both OSes to get to the data, which is much more unlikely.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    Is her name really Window Snyder? What's her middle name, Wysiwyg?



    I guess this means that giving a kid an "original" name doesn't *always* mean they will turn out to be a selfish loser (just most of the time).
  • Reply 13 of 38
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    Windows is now more modular like UNIX and will be even more modular going forward.



    Yes, I think this is important to security. Having small programs that do one thing only, and then join them together with a shell script. But despite this approach in the underlying BSD-style OS, Apple still insists on writing monolithic user-facing "apps" on top of it, so there will always be security holes. MS does the same.



    If a box simply must be secure then I guess the safest bet is to run pure Darwin or OpenBSD or some such, and runs "apps" on a separate airgapped box with no Internet connection.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    you would be surprised. after XP shipped they made security a priority. a lot of people say they are better than Apple because they are more open about it rather than keep everything a secret. Apple is going to have to do the same thing if they want to grow market share past 10%.



    And a lot of other people say that you risk and lose security by being too open.



    How anyone can assert that XP or any version of Windows is more secure than OSX is beyond me. Reality doesn't indicate this.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quevar View Post


    They still have a lot of old code that is infecting Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8499859.stm



    I'll agree that Windows has gotten better, but it's far from being flawless. One of the best security models out there is diversity. Any company that relies upon a single operating system is just asking for eventual problems. With so many people using one OS, these issues are bound to happen. If there was an even split between multiple operating systems, the computing realm would be a much better place. Security would be better since each OS would have different models and the effort to break in would be less for each one. More importantly, if one was compromised, you'd still have other functioning ones. If sensitive data was set up intelligently (which is a big IF in some cases), then you'd have to bypass both OSes to get to the data, which is much more unlikely.



    The latter half of your post is an interesting argument even though I think that is not the way Apple is headed. I think for the most part that Apple is happy with the Mac living slightly above average security because they probably won't ever have a high marketshare.



    With the iDevices Apple has taken a different tact. Many people believe that the iPhone OS is the future of the Mac OS. It could be their way of trying to beat the Windows OS monopoly. In this case, Apple has completely locked down the OS and relegated the browser to just a page viewer. It would also partly explain their distaste for Flash since that has been the source of the most recent exploits.



    The only problem is that with increased security comes less openness.
  • Reply 16 of 38
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Microsoft doesn't exactly have a reputation for good security. Why not hire someone from NSA or something like that.



    Believe it or not, MS's security is pretty good, it's just that so many viruses and malware programs target Windows and IE things seem terrible. IE8 is a lot more secure than most people think and it's no more vulnerable than Safari or firefox if the user installs Flash.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    Is her name really Window Snyder? What's her middle name, Wysiwyg?



    As much I am hating the focus on this women's name, that was funny.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post


    Believe it or not, MS's security is pretty good, it's just that so many viruses and malware programs target Windows and IE things seem terrible. IE8 is a lot more secure than most people think and it's no more vulnerable than Safari or firefox if the user installs Flash.



    I agree. if you hire a team to fix a damn after it's leaking you can't miracles no matter how talented they are.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    Yep....I agree! Sounds like a very smart person!



    Pretty too, for what it's worth.

  • Reply 19 of 38
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    Problem is, Windows is only more secure than OS X because it has User Account Control, which asks you for every little program that needs elevated permissions. That gets annoying after a while and soon the user just ignores reading it and clicks yes every time. So really what we need is something better, something that protects the user from himself/herself
  • Reply 20 of 38
    jerseymacjerseymac Posts: 408member
    I'm no expert, but from everything I have read on the subject no OS is safe. Mac user get to skip most of the security issues that plague Windows users because we have a small market share. As a result no one cares enough to bother.



    The best thing that can happen to the Mac community is for the iPad to become a niche product and for Apple to remain small.



    Of course if your a stock holder you don't want to hear that. But if you've never used Windows before, trust me you don't want to have to reinstall your OS every six months when you get hit by the bad guys.
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