Apple Hires Former NSA Official David Rice for Top Security Post

By Ed Silverstein January 25, 2011

Apple has found someone with impressive federal government experience as its new, high-level security official. The company is planning to name David Rice as the new director of global security, according to several media reports.

Rice is likely to concentrate on mobile security, especially for the iPhone and iPad, according to a report from All Things Digital.

Given that Apple’s iPhones and iPads are growing in popularity among enterprise users, businesses want assurances that they are secure, All Things Digital reports.

Rice will start working at Apple in March, according to MacObserver.

The site also points out that Rice is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he has an advanced degree in Information Warfare and Systems Engineering. He has been a global network vulnerability analyst for the National Security Agency, a cryptologist for the Navy.

And the executive director of a cybersecurity consulting firm. He is affiliated with the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, which researches potential for cyber attacks.

All Things Digital contends that Rice may be best known as author of the “Geekonomics” – a book warning about computer security vulnerabilities, reports TechZone360.

The hiring is not first outsider that Apple has found to improve security. The company earlier hired Ivan Krstic, who had worked as the head of security for the One Laptop Per Child project; Mozilla security chief Window Snyder; and PGP Chief Technology Officer Jon Callas, reports All Things Digital.

The hirings come as Mac threats were reportedly increasing in 2010, based on a recent study from Intego, according to IT Pro.

IT Pro also notes a Mac version of the Koobface worm was seen in 2010. Also seen was a form of malware named HellRTS. The malware “opened a backdoor to allow remote users to take control of infected Macs,” IT Pro reports.

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Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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