9 Anti-Hacking Rock Stars Who Toil In The Shadows At Apple

Window Snyder, AppleWindow Snyder, Senior Security Product Manager

Apple products are flawlessly designed and impeccably engineered, and that includes the security tech built into them.

That’s because Apple has some of the most highly regarded experts in the business. It’s their job to make sure the company’s reputation for secure products, free from viruses and such, remains unblemished. 

Apple iOS (the iPhone operating system) is extremely secure because there’s a lot of complex tech built in. It’s so secure that Apple has been rolling some of its features into OS X, the Mac operating system.

Apple actually sent some of its security experts to speak at last year’s Black Hat security conference for the first time in company history. No word yet on whether they’ll be making an encore this year. 

In the meantime, we found some of Apple’s security experts that are doing important work behind the scenes to make sure malware doesn’t become a problem on Macs, iPhones and iPads. 

Ivan Krstić, Core OS Security Architect

Year Joined: 2009

Twitter: @radian

Role At Apple: He's a systems security and architecture expert working on core security for Apple products.

This includes thinking like a hacker and imagine every possible angle they could use in an attack. 'I enjoy breaking computers, but I really enjoy making computers hard to break,' he explains on his personal blog.

Background: He's the former director of security architecture for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, where he developed the Bitfrost security platform. On his personal blog, he describes himself as a 'Linux hipster' and a 'big believer in open source.'

Shawn Geddis, Enterprise Security Consulting Engineer

Year Joined: 1998

Role At Apple: He helps Apple's enterprise salespeople and customers with product security issues. Also leads Apple's cooperative R&D agreement with the National Security Agency, which began in 2005, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Background: He joined Apple as a senior systems engineer working with federal government and intelligence agencies. He previously spent four years as a systems engineer at DARPA.

Window Snyder, Senior Security Product Manager

Year Joined: 2010

Twitter: @window

Role At Apple: She's leading Apple's efforts to work more closely with security researchers, something it has not done well in the past. She led the Apple security team that gave the company's first-ever talk at the Black Hat security conference last summer.

Background: She spent three years at Microsoft as a senior security strategist, and two and a half years at Mozilla, where her title was 'Chief Security Something-or-Other'. She also founded her own company, @stake, and sold it to Symantec in 2004 for $49 million.

Jacques Vidrine, Senior Manager of OS Security

Year Joined: 2005

Role At Apple: Joined Apple in 2005 as a product security engineer and has worked his way up the ranks. He was a key figure for Apple in its lawsuit against Mac clone maker Psystar, which Apple won in a 2009 court ruling.

Background: He was previously a security officer with the FreeBSD Project and was director of systems security at Verio from 2000 to 2005

Dallas DeAtley, Manager, Platform Security Team

Role At Apple: He spoke at the Black Hat security conference last year, which marked the first time Apple made an official appearance at the event in its 15-year history.

HIs talk was about the security tech that Apple has built into iOS, which includes 'code signing', which makes sure all the software that's downloaded to a device is coming from a trusted source. It also uses cryptography and other data protection tech.

DeAtley didn't offer any info that Apple hadn't already made public in an iOS security whitepaper published earlier that year. But no matter--his appearance was a sign that Apple may be working a bit more closely with security researchers in the future.

Matthew Murphy, Software Engineer

Drew Yao, Product Security Engineer

Year Joined: 2005

Twitter: @yabbadabbadrew

Role At Apple: He's a programmer who uses 'fuzzing', a security technique that involves injecting random data into an app to find previously undiscovered glitches.

He's discovered vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat, Ruby and Firefox, among others, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Background: Joined Apple in 2005 after getting his masters in information security from Carnegie Mellon University. Has been in his current role since 2006.

Kevin Blanchard, Core OS Security Engineer

Year Joined: 2010

Role At Apple: He's an expert in penetration testing, the technique used to find previously unknown holes in apps and networks to improve security. He also has experience with engineering and development in commercial, government and classified military environments, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Background: He's previously worked in security roles at Oracle, TippingPoint and Verizon, and also co-founded security consultancy Manta Security.

Jason Deraleau, Consulting Engineer

Year Joined: 2007

Role At Apple: He's helped get Apple products installed and running in Fortune 500 firms. This includes helping them with 'messaging and collaboration; WiFi, VPN, and related network technologies; mail and Exchange integration; Mobile Device Management (MDM) and deployment; security and cryptography; and app development,' according to his LinkedIn profile.

Background: He's a tech instructor and has authored several tech publications. 'Tim O'Reilly would call me an 'alpha geek',' he says in his LinkedIn profile.

Year Joined: 2011

Twitter: @alanptak

Role At Apple: In addition to 'data wrangling', which is how he describes his role on LinkedIn, he's working on big data tech that automatically finds attacks in the log data streams generated by apps and devices.

Background: He's been teaching at the SANS Institute (an organisation that does IT security training) for the past 11 years. Prior to that he spent four years as a senior consultant for security vendor Sourcefire.

Check out more enterprise tech people that are making an impact.

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