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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.





"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner







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