Apple Taps NSA Alumnus As Global Security Chief

Geekonomics author David Rice is the latest in a string of high-profile security hires for the company.
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Apple has selected security expert David Rice to be its new global head of security, according to news reports.

Apple has yet to confirm or deny its hiring of Rice. But according to All Things Digital's Arik Hesseldahl, unnamed sources said that Rice is "expected to start at Apple in March."

Rice is currently the executive director of the Monterey Group, a strategic consulting firm, as well as a senior research fellow at the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, an independent research institute. He's also served as a global network vulnerability analyst for the National Security Agency and as a "cryptologic officer" for the Navy. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1994 and went on to earn a master's in information warfare and systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Rice is perhaps best known for his 2007 book Geekonomics: The Cost of Insecure Software. With software bugs costing the U.S. economy $180 billion per year, in the book he proposed a novel solution for increasing software security: holding companies accountable for their bugs in a manner akin to taxing polluters.

"My argument is that manufacturers really don't have the right incentives to do the testing necessary to create secure software," Rice told Forbes in 2008.

Rice is the latest in a string of high-profile security hires at Apple. In early 2010, Apple hired the former security lead for Mozilla, Mwende Window Snyder, to be its security and privacy product manager. Meanwhile in May 2009, Apple hired security expert Ivan Krstic, former director of security architecture for the One Laptop Per Child project, reportedly to bolster the security of its Mac OS X operating system.