Skittish Apple Withdraws Black Hat Presentation5:09 PM EST Mon. Aug. 04, 2008
In a delicious bit of intrigue that has become typical of the Black Hat security conference, Apple has cancelled a scheduled panel discussion on its security engineering practices.
Apple's security team has long been shrouded in secrecy, and the discussion would have been one of the headline attractions at Black Hat, which is being held this week in Las Vegas.
Jeff Moss, director of the Black hat conference, which is owned by ChannelWeb parent company UBM, said Apple's marketing team was behind the decision to pull the plug on the presentation, which was titled 'Meet the Apple Security Experts.'
"We had a lot of people from government agencies saying they'd love to know more about the security engineers at Apple, because it's such an opaque company," said Moss.
Kevin Finisterre, a security researcher who has discovered numerous vulnerabilities in Apple products, says Apple's marketing team has often made the task of reporting security issues a difficult one.
"I found that when I reported a bug, [Apple's] security team could not even really talk to me, because the conversation was not approved," Finisterre said in an email. "They were also not able to give me realistic dates on when patches would come out, for similar reasons."
Although Apple representatives didn't respond to requests for comment, it's possible that Apple simply had second thoughts about its security engineers facing a crowd of security experts that includes the likes of H.D. Moore, L.M.H, and Finisterre, all of whom have highlighted Apple vulnerabilities in the past, most notably in the Month Of Apple Bugs.