Apple Names New Security Chief as Flash Named Chief Nuisance for Internet Security

<a href=Window Snyder" width="147" height="220" />Former Mozilla security chief Window Snyder has come on board as Senior Security Product Manager at Apple. Snyder, who left Mozilla in December 2008 after firming up the Firefox browser, started at Cupertino yesterday, although it is not clear whether she is working on the Macintosh browser, Safari, or something new. She spent 2009 working as a consultant, and joins Apple just as its technology chief of MobileMe, Pablo Calamera, departs for New York, where he'll be top tech dog at music subscription service Thumbplay.

It seems that the thorny subject of Internet security is quite a hot topic at the moment—as is one of its bugbears: Flash. According to hacker Charlie Miller, winner of the Pwn2Own competition, claims that it's the Adobe program that can turn your computer into the leakiest of tubs. Safest browser, he claims, is "Chrome or IE8 on Windows 7 with no Flash installed." And the long-held adage that Macs are less open to malware? "There probably isn't enough difference between the browsers to get worked up about. The main thing is not to install Flash!"

So does this mean that Apple has a point in not having Flash on the iPad? One of the things that Charlie Miller noted was that mobile browsers are a whole lot safer than the one on your common-or-garden desktop or laptop. While it's probably coincidence that the iPad is going to be a Flash-free environment, Apple's motivation is probably just to tackle the Adobe monopoly, as Flash is not exactly the most sophisticated of code. The thinking behind this is to push future open standards and make all Web browsers more consistent—and less buggy, as this security data on Flash highlights.

[Via PCWorld and Apple Insider and BBC News and Gizmodo]

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  • john valceanu

    It almost seems as if this article was funded by Microsoft. Macs are certainly less open to malware, even if browsers running on the OS aren't. And saying that IE8 running on Win7 is one of the safest systems (as long as flash isn't installed!?!) is really silly. The beauty of the Mac OS is that even if the browser is compromised, the operating system itself isn't corrupted. For almost two decades, Windows users have had to put up with version after version after version of unstable, buggy and vulnerable operating systems and browsers. It amazes me that such poor products still continue to dominate the marketplace.

  • Kahlil Haynes

    Actually Mr. Miller makes a much larger case for the hacks available on the MacOS and Macs in general than with Flash in a previous interview. Mr. Miller also makes it know that he is for sale. Most developers know that the main source of flash hacking is poorly written flash applications rather than the flash player itself. Of course nothing is unhackable.