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Apple is looking to new hires to try to prevent its employees from losing valuable device prototypes.  (Source: The Mac Feed)

Sony, too is looking to defend itself against hacker groups like Anonymous, who are outraged at the company's attempts to sue numerous customers who modified their legally purchased consoles.  (Source: Anonymous)

In recent months Sony's stock has dropped 55 percent.  (Source: Game Watch Impress)
Lost prototypes and leaked databases -- it's not easy to stay secure these days...

A pair of the world's biggest corporations are hiring amid security woes.

I. Apple Hires New Help to Secure Prototypes

After losing an iPhone prototype at a bar for the second year in a row [
1][2], Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has posted a pair of identical job listings advertising for a Manager of New Product Security.  The job calls for at least five years of security auditing experience, advanced certification, and "Experience... delivering security awareness programs."

The job description includes, "Team leadership and contribution in a matrixed environment." (Keanu Reeves anyone?)

Some believe the lost iPhone incidents to be a mere guerrilla-marketing ploy on Apple's part.  But Apple is at least feigning real dismay.  

The company tracked its latest lost phone to a house in Bernal Heights, using the GPS tracking system it enabled in all its prototypes.  At first the 
San Francisco Police Department declined to comment on their involvement in the search, despite reports that they were there.  They now admit to traveling to the home, but say they did not enter the residence -- only Apple security officials did (one of whom was a former San Jose police officer).

SFPD spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield 
comments, "Apple came to us saying that they were looking for a lost item, and some plainclothes officers responded out to the house with them. My understanding is that they stood outside...They just assisted Apple to the address."

A search of the house did not reveal the prototype. And while the resident admitted to being at the bar where the phone was lost, they claimed not to have it.

II. Sony Turns to former Homeland Security Director for Its Own Issues

In related news another company with recent security woes -- Japan's Sony Corp. (
TYO:6758) -- has appointed former Philip Reitinger, former director of the U.S. National Cyber Security Center(part of the Department of Homeland Security), to become its new chief information security officer.  Mr. Reitinger is a veteran with a long history in both the public and private sector, having worked for Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and the U.S. Department of Defense, in addition to the DOHS.

Mr. Reitinger will become a senior vice president at Sony and will report directly to general counsel Nicole Seligman and will work in Washington.

Improving security will be crucial for Sony.  Since its data losses began in April it lost over 100 million customers' personal data to hackers
 [1][2][3][4][5][6][7], and has seen its stock plummet 55 percent.  The timing couldn't be worse for Sony, who was just rolling out plans to increase its online offerings.  The breaches, combined with a rising value of the yen versus the dollar and declining TV sales have added up to big bad news for Sony, financially.

A spokeswoman 
told Reuters, "Certainly the network issue was a catalyst for the appointment. We are looking to bolster our network security even further."

Mr. Reitinger certainly has his work cut out for him.  While the pace of attacks on Sony has slowed slightly, the company still remains 
relatively belligerent towards the hacking and modding community (e.g. its efforts to sue and imprison console modders, who were simply altering products they legally purchased).  If a company has sound security it may be able to get away with such a stance, but Sony has already proven it picked a fight it wasn't ready for.



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Haha
By sprockkets on 9/6/2011 12:13:43 PM , Rating: 4
Apple's looking for a security advisor? That's the least of their worries. They should be posting a job application for "Reality Distortion Field Engineer".




RE: Haha
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/6/2011 12:20:19 PM , Rating: 4
I think Tony Swash already interviewed for that position ;)


RE: Haha
By JDUC on 9/6/2011 12:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't seen the ol' Swashbuckler around lately.


RE: Haha
RE: Haha
By nocturne_81 on 9/6/2011 4:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
lmao... another day, another flame war..


Secure = Common Sense
By nocturne_81 on 9/6/2011 4:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
Maintaining a secure business is incredibly easy, with just the slightest amount of common sense.

In Apple's case, don't send prototype products home with employees! Quite simply, these products should be kept in-house before their release (for too many reasons to count). Are there no guards? No security checkpoints? I figured that was standard practice in the cutthroat tech industry.. On a funnier note, could be an awesome pickup line: 'hey, baby... want to see the new iPhone..?'

Sony... oh dear, stupid Sony.. They made complete %#$es of themselves going after the hardware-hacker and homebrew communities, and obviously should have realized the wrath it would incur. That said.. plain text passwords in their user databases..?! What is this, 1996..?

Those are nowhere close to the only examples, unfortunately..

Here in Ohio, it was common practice for a contractor working with Workmen's Comp to store all their records (including tens of thousands of names, addresses, and social security numbers) on a single thumbdrive, which was sent home with a random employee each night. One day, it was given to an intern -- whose car it was stolen from in a BB parking lot. Seriously..? It was like they were begging for it.

Meanwhile, there's also too many examples to count in which employees were sent home with laptops containing highly sensitive info, which were ultimately lost/stolen.. A highly published example was years back when the IRS admitted to having lost 2300+ laptops, desktops, and servers over 3 years. I can see laptops being the norm; but desktops, and especially, servers?!?! How do you lose a server..?

It should be common sense for an employer to not allow an employee to take sensitive work home with them (sensitive, such as all of our tax records), though it's merely the product of greedy employers trying to squeeze as much work as possible out of the workforce when not on the clock.




RE: Secure = Common Sense
By fteoath64 on 9/7/2011 3:19:14 AM , Rating: 2
Good writeup thanks.

"How do you lose a server..?" well, in many companies, it is easy to load-up the car trunk from a service lift after hours or at week-ends. There are cases were the employee will take it home to drop off the next day at a service depot nearby, thus saving hours.


RE: Secure = Common Sense
By nocturne_81 on 9/7/2011 8:14:50 PM , Rating: 2
But it was the IRS! Are there no security guards there..? An entire nation worth of personal and financial details is quite an important thing to try to protect..

I worked for company years back, during which two of our board execs disappeared overnight without a word, the same night that there was a break in during which two product design servers and the filing cabinets containing two years worth hardcopy purchase orders were stolen. A few weeks later, they popped up with their own company, ordering our products from the same Chinese factories we had just begun outsourcing to, having them drop ship them right to our former customers. Our products, our designs.. too bad none of that really mattered -- nothing could be proven, and most of the patents were owned by LR and CSA. Ironically, the Chinese learned well from their own deceit -- and started selling direct to our customers, even convincing our biggest customer (company that rhymes with 'crab-boil') to shutdown all of it's domestic assembly/packaging plants and letting the Chinese plants make their entire lineup. Next step, the Chinese will start selling the exact same product with their own brand name..

Just goes to show that security applies to a lot more than just computer records..


Cost Effective Publicity
By SpaceJumper on 9/7/2011 8:20:56 AM , Rating: 2
It is cheaper to get publicity by loosing a prototype phone than spend millions of dollars in advertisement.




Brother?
By frobizzle on 9/6/2011 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
SFPD spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield comments...

Is that Rodney's brother? "I tell you, I get no respect. I bought my kid a bow and arrow for Christmas. You know what he got me? A shirt, with a bull's eye in it!




"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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