Michael Howard, Microsoft Sr Security Program Manager

Michael Howard, Microsoft Sr Security Program Manager


Michael Howard recently updated his blog on March 24 that Ken Johnson aka Skywing has joined his group in Microsoft.

Johnson in 2005, together with another hacker, Matt Miller aka Skape published a paper on how to bypass Window’s Data Execution Prevention (DEP).

This news looks like a continuing trend of Microsoft recruiting well known hackers that has proven themselves in the field of circumventing Windows defenses, which is a good thing.

Others who have joined Microsoft recently are:

Matt Miller, August 2008

Crispin Cowan,  January 2008

Adam Shostack, June 2006

One way to make a significant contribution is to join the market leader and make the change from within that organization itself and this is good for Microsoft as it evolves its Windows OS to be more secure over time. And ultimately its the consumers who benefit, a win-win scenerio.

I have yet to come across such thing hapening to Apple, though. And, lately I have been reading tonnes of news how insecure Mac OS X “Leopard” is, it scares me shitless that some still thinks that Linux/Unix or FreeBSD-based OS is inherently secure, which is not really the case anymore.

As Apple gains more market share, more hackers will be targeting it, since it’s going to be easy picking – less secure, less work, easy to exploit, make sense?

Update 29 March: Trend Micro reported that pirated Mac software has been found to be embedded with malware.