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.