By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
Mozilla has hired a former Microsoft security strategist to help lock
down its open-source products against online attacks.
Window Snyder, whose hiring was announced Wednesday, worked on
Microsoft's security driven Windows XP Service Pack 2 update. She also
had a role in the development of Windows Server 2003.
Snyder will take charge of Mozilla's security strategy, a role
previously handled by Mozilla's vice president of engineering, Mike
"Window has joined MozCorp recently as our new "Chief Security
Something" (that's a working title)," said Schroepfer in a blog
posting . "She'll be the public voice of Mozilla Corporation on
security issues and helping to drive our long-term security strategy."
With hackers finding new and more sophisticated ways to compromise
browser security, browser makers such as Mozilla need to keep pace,
said Avivah Litan, an analyst with Gartner.
And as Mozilla has become more popular, security has become even more
important, she said. "The attacks have really been targeted toward the
90% of the population using IE, but as their percentage of the browser
population goes up, they have more need for [security]," she said.
Mozilla's Firefox is now used by nearly 13% of Web surfers, according
to Web analytics firm OneStat.com. Microsoft's Internet Explorer has
about 86% marketshare, the company estimates.
At Microsoft, Snyder worked with both security consulting companies
and Microsoft product teams, and one researcher gave high marks to
Mozilla for the hire, saying it would help the Mozilla team focus more
"She obviously is respected in the security area," said Stefano
Zanero, CTO with Secure Network SRL. "She has a lot of connections and
a good vision. I'd say she's an excellent pick for a security
Snyder left Microsoft in 2005 to work as a principal with Matasano
Security, a consultancy based in New York that has done security
testing for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system.
Stephen Toulouse, security program manager with Microsoft's security
response center and a former co-worker of Snyder's, had high marks for
the new Mozilla security chief. "Speaking personally, not as a
representative of Microsoft, I think anyone who has Window working for
them is lucky to have her," he said.
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