Yahoo Selects NSA Critic For Chief Security Role

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Yahoo beefs up its security team with a new leader – Alex Stamos, one of the NSA’s more vocal critics

Internet giant Yahoo has recruited Alex Stamos, one of the more vocal opponents of mass US spying, as its new chief information security officer (CISO).

Stamos helped organise the recent TrustyCon event, held in protest at the RSA conference over alleged collusion between the EMC-owned security organisation and the National Security Agency. RSA has denied those allegations.

He also held the chief technology officer role at security firm Artemis and co-founded iSEC Partners, a consultancy and penetration testing firm.

Alex Stamos

Yahoo welcomes Stamos

“At Yahoo, we’re focused on having the absolute best talent in place to provide our users with outstanding product experiences,” said Jay Rossiter, senior vice president of platforms and personalisation products at Yahoo.

“Part of that experience is the trust that consumers put in us to keep their personal data secure. This trust is critical to our brand and is critical to our commitment to the hundreds of millions of users who make our products part of their daily habits. That’s why I’m thrilled to welcome Alex Stamos to Yahoo.

“Alex will lead all aspects of information security at Yahoo, including our team of Yahoo ‘Paranoids’, charged with making our products as secure as possible. This is a broad role which includes implementing top-to-bottom security for our products and systems but also to lead the company and the industry in not just how security works today but how it needs to work in the future.”

Yahoo has had a number of serious security issues in recent months. Its Yahoo Mail service was compromised in January, whilst late last year it received criticism for only rewarding those who uncovered Yahoo vulnerabilities with a paltry $12.50 (£17.70) voucher for t-shirts and other merchandise.

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