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Mozilla taps former Microsoft executive for security

Mozilla taps former Microsoft executive for security
Mozilla taps former Microsoft executive for security 

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 [1]. "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 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 
on security. 

"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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