|Microsoft employee and white-hat hacker Kristin Paget is now reportedly working at Apple as an operating system security researcher, according to reports. As of September, her LinkedIn profile declares her as a "Core OS Security Researcher at Apple." In Microsoft's employ, Paget worked with a team to find security holes in the operating system vendor's Vista release before its public debut.
Exploits and accomplishments to her name include a $250 device capable of cloning passport RFID tags at a distance, as well as a device to match the random channel-hopping systems used in GSM -- allowing for extended monitoring of the communications protocol. In 2010, Paget set up a spoof GSM base station at the DefCon security conference, warning users that by connecting to the station, the user's security had been breached. While working for Microsoft, a number of critical security failures in the Vista OS was discovered by her team, forcing the delayed release of the operating system.
"We prevented a lot of bugs from shipping on [it]," Paget said during a talk at the 2011 Black Hat security and hacking conference, after a Microsoft NDA expired. "I'm proud of the number of bugs we found and helped get fixed."
Neither Apple nor Paget have any comment on the tasking the security expert is expected to accomplish. Paget's claim of being a "total Unix head" will assist with efforts to secure the UNIX core technologies that OS X and the iOS were built on. Apple has made a conscious effort to greatly improve security in the three most recent releases of OS X, including the Gatekeeper app-screening feature found in Mountain Lion -- even though viruses are non-existent on the platform, and malware outbreaks have mostly been rare and of limited success.