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Apple recruits former Microsoft, Mozilla security chief

The former security chief for the Mozilla Corporation and security lead for Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 has moved on to Apple, where she will serve as the senior security product manager, according to a new report.

Window Snyder's first day at Apple was Monday, according to PC World. While it noted that Apple was the "third browser-maker in the past five years that has employed Snyder," it did not indicate whether she would work on the Safari browser or some other technology for the Cupertino, Calif., company.

The Internet Explorer browser was not the main focus in her tenure at Microsoft, where Snyder was credited with pioneering the Blue Hat program, initiating communications between developers at the Redmond, Wash., software giant and outside security researchers. A profile in USA Today in 2008 noted this was done at a time wen "Microsoft was loath to share technical information with those outside" the company's headquarters.

At Mozilla, Snyder carried a tongue-in-cheek title of "chief security something-or-other," and she oversaw security for the company's popular Firefox Web browser. While most Mozilla programmers work on the open source software for free, Snyder earned a salary through the Mozilla Corporation.

Snyder left Mozilla in 2008 to work on something she said she has "always been passionate about." She has worked as a consultant for the past year.

Apple has regularly looked to improve security in its products. In 2009, the company posted a job listing as it was looking to hire a security manager for the iPhone OS. The Cupertino, Calif., based position would have someone oversee its team which secures booting and installation of the iPhone OS, and works to protect and harden it against outside threats.

Last May, Apple hired Ivan Krstic, developer of the security architecture for the One Laptop Per Child's XO system. Krstic is a prodigy security guru with anti-malware credentials.

When it launched last summer, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard included basic malware protection that provides users with a warning when disk images are opened containing known malware installers.