As hackers continue to look outside of Windows to a greater and greater degree, and malware continues to spread on other platforms like iOS and Android, the companies who make those operating systems are going to need to beef up their security to keep pace. Apple has obviously taken that task seriously, as they’ve been hiring security experts quite a bit over the last few months, though they’ve been super secretive about what they have these people doing.
We heard from Wired today that Apple has now hired Kristin Paget, a long-time hacker who worked for Microsoft back in the Windows Vista days. As part of a small team of hackers, Paget helped fix many of the security issues in the Vista OS. When they were initially brought in, it was expected that Paget’s team wouldn’t find much to complain about within Vista, but that proved to be anything but the case. In fact, they found so many security vulnerabilities that they single-handedly delayed the release of Vista.
Now, it looks like Paget might be applying some of that scrutiny to Apple’s operating systems. She was hired at Apple as a “core operating system security researcher,” which likely means she’ll be doing a very similar job to what she was doing for Windows Vista. We’ll have to wait and see whether she manages to get OS X 10.9 delayed, or if it’s less of a mess to begin with.
This acquisition is yet another move in recent memory that indicates Apple is paying more attention to their OS security. As their market share continues to grow, they’ll become a bigger target for hackers, so it’s in their best interests to keep on top of it. In addition to a couple recent security-related hirings like this one, Apple also sent a representative to the Black Hat hacker conference for the first time this year, which sets a precedent many will expect them to live up to in subsequent years. There’s no bones about it: Apple is getting serious about security.