Feeds

Microsoft sets Apple straight on security

Do as I say, not as I do

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Microsoft giving advice to Apple on software security? What next, a lecture on timely shipping of product?

As crazy as it sounds, a member of Microsoft's security team has blasted Apple for failing to coordinate its security efforts and to issue proper security advice.

Stephen Toulouse, communications manager for Microsoft's security response team, has blogged that Apple needs a "security czar" to batten down the hatches against an growing number of attacks on the company's OS X.

By contrast, he points to Microsoft as a prime example of how to respond to threats, providing well-documented communications and prescriptive "how-to" guidance with alerts that are delivered through email, RSS and deployment tools.

Toulouse was responding to Apple's recent update to a security fix that was designed to solve problems in installing an earlier patch. Apple's Security Update 2006-002 had caused problems with networking and with the Safari browser icon.

He criticized Apple's security mailing list for failing to "cover when there are new versions available when a bug is introduced by the update" and for lacking RSS.

Also worrying for Toulouse was a recent BusinessWeek article where Apple's vice president of software technology Bud Tribble apparently rejected the need to appoint a security chief: "When we think about security and how we design software, the basic approach is to make it as secure as possible," Tribble said.

That, according to Toulouse, was "a little like saying the White House shouldn't have a Department of Home land Security because, DUH, everyone in the government cares about security!"

He advised Apple to become more pro-active, warning that today's attacks are like the most prevalent form of attack on Windows - attacks that require the user to take action first.

"We've learned the lesson of getting out there fast and providing clear prescriptive guidance," he said. "[Apple] will have to seek outside expertise in the form of a head of security communications in the next 12 months. Apple needs a person steeped in security issues."

Toulouse seems to overlook the, ah-em, timely release of alerts from Microsoft like this. But he has started a verbal war that cannot end well for Microsoft. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.