The security of its products is important to Apple, that’s why it has hired former Microsoft whitehat hacker Kristin Paget (formerly known as Chris Paget) to help secure its operating systems and hardware, Wired reports.
Paget confirmed to the popular technology website that she is currently employed by Apple. According to her LinkedIn profile, she started work at the company in September with the title “Core OS Security Researcher.”
Paget and her team at Recursion Ventures were employed by Microsoft to perform penetration tests (you, at the back, stop sniggering) on its soon-to-be-released Windows Vista operating system back in 2006. She was barred from talking about her work at the company for five years as part of a non-disclosure agreement, which lifted last year.
For Microsoft, the hiring of Paget’s team was unusual – it was the first time it had brought in an outside team. They expected them to find nothing, the tests were actually designed to be the final check before release.
According to Paget (quoted by Ironpaper), her company was so good at finding critical issues in Vista that the operating system was delayed because of one major bug that she found. According to Wired, the team were given “special T-shirts, signed by Microsoft Vice President of Windows Development Brian Valentine, that read: I delayed Windows Vista.”
Unfortunately for Microsoft, Vista wasn’t well received — instead it ended up laying the foundation for Windows 7 — and Paget stayed in her role as Chief Hacker at Recursion Ventures until July, before being hired by Apple a few months later.
While the majority of computer attacks aimed at consumers are targeted at Windows machines, the increase in Mac and iOS device sales has led to more more malware and other attacks being aimed Apple’s operating systems.
Apple has a history of employing whitehat hackers and other security researchers to secure its software, including a couple of high profile jailbreak hackers, ensuring its platforms are less frequently targeted by malicious attackers.