Feeds

Microsoft sets Apple straight on security

Do as I say, not as I do

Seven Steps to Software Security

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.