Apple Hires Veteran Hacker Who "Delayed Windows Vista"
December 7, 2012 1:13 PM
comment(s) - last by
Pickup should boost Apple's recently struggling security efforts
Malware authors, who are finally taking note of the company’s operating system amid rising market share,
have of late victimized
Apple, Inc. (
). Amid struggles with malware -- mostly Trojans (programs that imitate real software or are carried by seemingly innocent webpages and trick users into installation) like
-- the company has been
scrutinized by security firms
who suggest it needs help, and a more proactive stance on plug-in patching.
computer and digital device maker made a key step in the right direction this week, though, hiring Kristin Paget (
formerly Chris Paget
), according to
Ms. Paget seems a natural fit for Apple.
She has said in past interviews that she is a "total Unix head" (OS X is Unix-like) and dislikes Windows. And she's expressed an interest in hardware security. When she left Recursion Ventures, her security firm, in July she expressed a desire to move away from bug-finding.
Thus she may see her talents first applied to Apple's efforts to lock firmware hackers
like George "GeoHot" Hotz
out of Apple's iOS firmware. Since the launch of the iPhone, Apple has been largely
unable to stop such hackers
from defeating its digital rights management scheme (via jailbreaking) and its network locking (via unlocking). Apple has hired hackers in the past (
most notably "Comex"
) to try to shore up its firmware, but the efforts
have oft fizzled
The new recruit, though, could fare better as she brings a long history of eye-opening security exploits. In 2010 at DefCon hacker conference she set up a cell-phone intercepting station, a low-cost homebrew hardware setup that tricked towers into routing calls -- even encrypted ones -- through it, allowing conversations to be snooped on.
Kristin (formerly Chris) Paget led the bug finding hunt that helped dramatically improve the security of Windows Vista. [Image Source: Jean-Philippe Martin]
But Ms. Paget's most prestigious honor was delaying Windows Vista and in the process greatly improving its security. In 2006 she was hired by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) to assist with the final development of Vista. According to recent speeches, which she gave after her five-year non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Microsoft expired in 2011; Microsoft had expected a clean bill of health when they brought her onboard.
Instead, she and her team found a wealth of bugs. She recalls, "We prevented a lot of bugs from shipping on Vista. I’m proud of the number of bugs we found and helped get fixed."
The bug hunt was so successful that it forced Microsoft to delay Windows Vista. Ms. Paget and her team received honorary shirts from Microsoft Vice President of Windows Development Brian Valentine that read: “I delayed Windows Vista.”
Windows Vista is widely viewed as a turning point in Microsoft's security history, paving ground for later
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RE: Ms. Paget
12/8/2012 11:52:18 AM
Aww sounds like i hurt all the Macolyte's feelings by talking negative about their faux deity. You crApple fanatics are just as bad as the muslims with your gods and doing/saying whatever it takes to defend them at all costs. CEOs of crApple AREN'T gods, hate to break it to you, but they are mortals just like the rest of us. All your love for Timmy doesn't change the fact that he is a flamer.
It is weird how the media portrays him as "powerful". I guess we have totally different definitions of powerful.
RE: Ms. Paget
12/9/2012 12:27:41 AM
Nope, has nothing to do with any of that. Nice to see that shameless homophobia is alive and well though.
RE: Ms. Paget
12/11/2012 3:04:40 PM
Homophobia is the wrong word. That word embeds an excuse, as if it's somehow natural (like fear of heights).
I suppose ignorance is natural, but heterosexism is the real issue. Basically, it's the age-old desire that many people have to feel superior to others. Narcissism.
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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