Apple at BLACK HAT Security Conference?
Growing sales of iPhones and iPads are causing Apple to undertake endeavors it has not before, and the their planned appearance at next month's Black Hat security conference is a strong indicator that the company is taking security concerns more seriously. This is significant because Apple has never actually had any real participation at Black Hat. Although they nearly did four years ago in 2008, the Apple security engineers that were scheduled to lead a Black Hat panel pulled out a week before under direction of Apple's powers that be. Whereas some of the more prominent previous Black Hat storylines have centered on Apple flaws, it does seem that it's about time for Apple to become involved at Black Hat.
Apple's security team manager, Dallas De Atley, will be presenting a talk on iOS security at this year's Black Hat. Apple recently published a document outlining the iOS security architecture potentially setting up a platform for this presentation. Apple needs to improve its track record of working with security researchers, many of whom claim to have been ignored after bringing serious issues to the company's attention. Some such researchers have evidently taken vulnerability disclosure into their own hands, as evidenced by the Month of Apple Bugs and other things. So why is Apple opening up on security? it is probable that Apple could be looking to fix the dent that the botnet and flashback malware caused to its security reputation.
Apple says iOS is inherently more secure. Another plausible explanation might be that Apple wants a bigger share of the enterprise market and taking Black Hat seriously while presenting genuine security information about the iOS will likely give CEOs and CIOs better reasons to believe an apples security. With all this Apple also apparently realizes that it needs to improve, perhaps even upgrade its own networking security skills and to that end they have been recruiting Microsoft channel partners which would be another first. It will be interesting to see what comes of this Black Hat appearance and just how forthcoming Apple will be.