Microsoft Shuffles Security Teams


Microsoft will merge its security teams and move them into the Windows group to bolster future operating system security, the company said Thursday.

The Security Technology Unit, which was headed by Ben Fathli -- who replaced long-time security czar Mike Nash in March -- will be joining the Trustworthy Computing team. Led by Scott Charney, Trustworthy Computing will in turn be shifted to what's called the Core Operating Systems Division, which is in charge of the Windows platform.

The changes will take place after Vista is released to manufacturing next month, and are part of the overall reorganization of the Windows group, which began earlier this year. In August, Microsoft appointed Jon DeVaan as the head of Windows engineering, and said the unit's former chief, Brian Valentine, would be posted to a new position in the company. Valentine, who had been blamed for the delays in Vista's release, left Microsoft in early September for Seattle-based Amazon.com, where he received $12.8 million in stock awards for coming aboard.

Other groups to operate under the Trustworthy Computing umbrella, said Microsoft, will include the security response team -- including the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) -- and what the company calls its "Engineering Excellence" unit. MSRC is responsible for investigating vulnerabilities in Microsoft products, tracking exploits and attacks, and coordinating the monthly security update process.

"These functions, combined with core TWC [Trustworthy Computing] team and Network Security will create an integrated team focused on delivering against Microsoft's ongoing commitment to Trustworthy Computing," said Microsoft in a statement.

Charney, who leads Trustworthy Computing, joined Microsoft in 2002. Previous to that, he had been with PricewaterhouseCoopers' Cybercrime Prevention and Response Practice.