Powered by Blogger.

Apple's Security Chief Reportedly Steps Down

John Theriault
Apple's chief of security has left the company in the wake of controversy over how his team handled the investigation of a missing iPhone prototype this past summer, according to reports. John Theriault retired from his position as vice president of global security at Apple after a nearly five-year stint at the company.
First reported by 9to5mac.com last week, Theriault's departure has been reported by several more media outlets in the past few days, though Apple has not officially confirmed it.
Theriault joins several other high-profile Apple executives who have left the company in recent weeks, including retail boss Ron Johnson, who is now CEO J.C. Penney, lead designer Sarah Brody, who is now with PayPal, Mac OS X lead Bertrand Serlet, and iAds chief Andy Miller.
The former FBI special agent spent a decade as chief of security at Pfizer before joining Apple, according to a LinkedIn profile cited by 9to5Mac. He reported to Apple's lead legal counsel Bruce Sewell, who reported directly to then-CEO Steve Jobs and presumably now reports to Tim Cook, according to an Apple organizational chart.
Among Theriault's accomplishments as head of Apple's security operations was his leadership in an anti-counterfeit effort in 2008 focused on fighting counterfeit Apple products being produced in China. Apple's conflicts with Chinese black marketers remained a top priority for Theriault and his team, withthe shutdown of fake Apple Stores in China becoming an issue in recent months.
But a pair of debacles concerning missing iPhone prototypes came to define the security chief's tenure at Apple. To be fair, it's not clear if the ongoing problem of missing test devices was directly connected to Theriault's reported resignation from his post.
The most recent affair, which concerned what was presumably an iPhone 4S field testing unitreportedly lost in a San Francisco bar in July, was the second such high-profile incident involving a lost iPhone prototype in the past two years.
A year ago, an iPhone 4 prototype was lost in a bar in Redwood City, Calif. and subsequently wound up in the hands of tech blog Gizmodo, which paid $5,000 for the device. Two men have been charged with misappropriation of lost property and possession of stolen property, but Gizmodo escaped any legal action.
This time around, the smartphone in question was reportedly the iPhone 4S released last month by Apple—though in August, when the news of the missing prototype surfaced, media referred to it as an "iPhone 5." The bar where the purported iPhone 4S prototype reportedly went missing was a Mission District watering hole called Cava 22.
That's where the story got sticky for Apple security. A San Francisco man told SF Weekly in early September that he had been visited by six individuals searching for the iPhone prototype sometime in July. Two of them searched 22-year-old Sergio Calderón's home, car, and computer, Calderón told the alternative weekly and at first it wasn't clear just who these people were.
Though Calderón said the searchers presented themselves as San Francisco police, SFPD initially said it had no record of such activity by any of its officers. Later, SFPD backtracked and said three or four plainclothes officers had accompanied two Apple security officials on the July visit to Calderón's home in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, where they didn't find anything.
SFPD now says it is conducting an internal investigation into how that house visit went down, because it appears that the individuals who searched Calderón's house were Apple security officials, not the accompanying police officers, and Calderón also claimed he was threatened if he didn't comply with the search request.
In early September, Apple listed two job postings for "New Product Security Managers."