updated 02:53 am EDT, Sun September 16, 2012
Former NSA penetration tester attacked MacBook Air, iOS, more
A prolific white-hat hacker that repeatedly attacked Apple products along with Windows systems for prize money has been hired by Twitter. Charlie Miller, previously a penetration tester for various security firms and a former "Global Exploitation Analyst" for the NSA, will join a team dedicated to finding security flaws in the social network, and help prevent others from performing the same attacks.
Miller gained fame primarily for his demonstrated hacks into various Apple products over the last few years. It took him two minutes to hack a MacBook Air using a pre-prepared attack at a Pwn2Own competition in 2008, proceeding to do the same thing to a fully-patched Apple notebook the following year using a Webkit vulnerability, beating his previous time by a considerable margin. He was reportedly ejected from the iOS developer program hours after discovering a remote control app exploit last year.
This year, he spoke at the 2012 Black Hat security conference about NFC security vulnerabilities in both Android and Nokia smartphones, showing how NFC tags could be used to take users to malicious website that exploited existing security holes. In more recent years, he has praised security advancements by Apple, saying most recently that Gatekeeper and other new security measures in Mountain Lion were "smart" and restored Apple to his "most secure" OS choice.
The hiring of Miller suggests that Twitter is becoming more serious about security threats, and thus wanted to make its security team stronger. Whisper Systems, a firm that produces security products including WhisperCore and TextSecure, was purchased in November last year. [via Forbes]