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MS Security Guru Leaves for Amazon.com 103

Posted by Zonk
from the leaving-is-hard-to-do dept.
Rocky Mann writes "Jesper Johansson, a security guru for Microsoft, is leaving the company to join Amazon.com. Johansson served for some five years as a 'senior security strategist', and is considered one of the world's leading experts on how to protect installations of Windows." From the article: "Johansson is also an advocate for the use of safe-passwords techniques in the enterprise. At the height of the WMF zero-day attacks earlier in 2006, Johansson offered measured advice on the use of unofficial patches and he was constantly on the move, traveling around the world to help customers figure out how to use Microsoft's products securely."
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MS Security Guru Leaves for Amazon.com

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  • Great Quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gooman (709147) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @05:31PM (#15807468) Journal
    ...he was constantly on the move, traveling around the world to help customers figure out how to use Microsoft's products securely.

    Kind of says it all doesn't it.

    • So there's this word that basically means "a phrase using words that are opposites or otherwise incompatible." I can't think of what that word is at the moment, but I think Microsoft Security would be a good example of that. The end.
    • Yeah, I imagine that he has accumulated enough frequent flyer miles to actually leave the Milky Way.
    • ...he was constantly on the move, traveling around the world to help customers figure out how to use Microsoft's products securely.

      Sisyphus had it easy in comparison to that.
  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @05:32PM (#15807473) Homepage Journal
    At some point in the conversation Mr. Ballmer said: "Just tell me it's not Amazon." I told him it was Amazon.

    At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office. Mr. Ballmer then said: "I'm going to fucking bury that company, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Amazon."

    Thereafter, Mr. Ballmer resumed trying to persuade me to stay....Among other things, Mr. Ballmer told me that "Amazon is not a real company. It's a library."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29, 2006 @05:33PM (#15807482)
    I can see how Scoble and Gates leaving MS should make slashdot, but this is just random fluff. Slashdot loves reporting that (not really) important people are leaving Microsoft for Google, or apparently Amazon.

    Do we get to also see the random people who leave Google and Amazon.com? Mod me down if you like, but I don't really see how this is relevent news.
  • by LittleBigScript (618162) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @05:35PM (#15807489) Homepage Journal
    ...he signed a Non-Compete Agreement with Microsoft so he's working as front door security.
  • Amazon? (Score:5, Funny)

    by justsomebody (525308) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @05:36PM (#15807495) Journal
    Thanks god it is not Google. MS chairs will probably thank him publically.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @05:36PM (#15807496) Homepage
    ...my Amazon account.
  • Must be... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Shook18 (878947)
    the smartest man alive! "...and is considered one of the world's leading experts on how to protect installations of Windows."
    • by MooseByte (751829)

      I swear when I first read that, I parsed it as "one of the world's leading experts on how to protect installations from Windows."

      And it still made perfect sense (codebase problems and all).

  • ...to help customers figure out how to use Microsoft's products securely.
    By keeping their computers switched off?

    Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all night, please tip the waiter...

  • omg sooo funny (Score:1, Redundant)

    by atarione (601740)
    chair jokes? still funny after what 2yrs I do not not remember?

    Non Compete jokes oh man hold on let me get my pills your killing me.

    and a bunch of "secure windows" isn't that an oxymoron jokes...

    no really it is very funny.
  • I met this guy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DnemoniX (31461) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @05:49PM (#15807535)
    I attended a small security lecture with about 25 people, he was the presenter. He walked through some real time hacks against Microsoft products that he had running in VPC. Nothig to stunning for me, but most of the people there had no clue about security so they were all blown away. I didn't see anything special. One thing of note that amused me, was the bumper sticker on his laptop that read "My other box is your Linux box". I said that I couldn't fit "My other box is a 10,000 node zombie cluster of Windows machines" on a bumper sticker....he chuckled...

    If you run his name on Amazon you will find his book, which is really very good if you are a Windows Server Admin and are new to the security game.
    • "My other box is a 10,000 node zombie cluster of Windows machines"

      Good one, I wonder if ThinkGeek would make such bumper stickers...
    • I went to Jesper's presentation at Auscert in 2005 where he came out with the stunning "write down your passwords" revelation. (Previously espoused by Bruce Schneier years ago.)

      His talk was an hour of how to jam as many funny pictures into a talk and attempt to get "in" with the geek crowd by poking fun at the security establishment.

      It was kind pathetic.

      He then went on to attend a Thor Larholm presentation and attack Thor at the end of it. It was stupid and untidy. I thought Thor handled it well. Jesper los
    • "My other box is your Linux box"

      That's a stupid thing for him to say. It shows his malicious intentions and his failure to carry through.

      80% of the world's spam comes from security problems in his platform. This guy's work is either incompetent or hampered by others. Blaming it on his users is not good enough while Mac, Linux and Sun users are blissfully unaware of the Windoze swamp.

      To date there are no such problems with free software, no worms, no trojans, ad servers, nothing, naada, zip. Sure,

  • One Liners (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Just moving from one marketing gig to another.

    He was done securing vista and there just wasn't anything challenging left at Microsoft for him to work on.

    He's moving to Amazon to implement Trustworthy One-Clicking(TM).

    His real reason for leaving: he's looking for the one, the only one that's build like an Amazon...and he doesn't want people to buy their books from a brick house.

    Hey, does Amazon sell office chairs?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    but it seems that while rotecting Amazon's internal network, along with the protocol to customers (which presumably uses SSL), is admittedly a huge task, one can rely heavily on firewalls, server configurations, protocols, and physical security policies that can be standardized throughout the company.

    While the ongoing task of securing hundreds of millions of desktops and servers owned and operated at customer sites is orders of magnitude more formidable. Maybe he didn't want to be around when the Vista hit
  • If I were Ballmer I would try to hire Theo de Raadt to replace him.

    And if I were de Raadt, I'd reject the offer unless Microsoft opensources win32.

    And if I were the customer I would not buy Windows at all.

    Oh wait...
  • by kimvette (919543) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:21PM (#15807612) Homepage Journal
    Cliche M$ humor attempt #1:

    (#1a)
    Amazon? Amazon? WTF?

    I can imagine it now:

    Some random M$: Exect #1

    Amazon has enjoyed a moderate amount of success, therefore online book, CD, and video sales is obviously Microsoft's space. How dare they take food off of Microsoft's table by doing business in an industry kinda-sorta-maybe related to anything we at Microsoft do? And what the hell, now they're stealing our talent to do it? We own that space, we're in that space (maybe. somehow, in a future. Maybe we'll buy them out! Hey wait a second, we have a division called Microsoft Press, don't we? I think we can sue Mr. Johansson and put a stop to our competitors' stealing our employee!

    Ballmer:

    I'm going to F***ING KILL AMAZON! I'LL KILL THEM AND BURY THEM! I've done it before!
    (meanwhile, Microsoft's new AI-equipped motorized chairs, which have been provided due to Ballmer's costing the company millions in damaged chairs and the need to avoid these recurring losses, detect Ballmer's impending annurism quickly roll out of the room)

    (#1b)Bill Gates:

    Meh. I've had my day of being a right ass. I couldn't be bothered being a hater any more. Besides, I'm quitting soon. *donates another $10bil to save the children to appease conscience*

    Cliche M$ humor attempt #2:

    A Microsoft Security expert? You mean, HE'S the reason Microsoft Windows is so "secure?"
    Just what the hell is Amazon thinking?

    (I kid, on both counts)
    • Dear Diary,

      Finally, I'm leaving this stinking company for another where I might have a chance to actually use my expertise, instead of flying all over creation putting on dog-and-pony shows and doing damage control! I feel like a rat fleeing a sinking ship, but if the Chief Rat has scurried off, why should I feel any remorse? Besides, I was almost hit by a chair two weeks ago. Enough is enough!

      Yours truly,

      Jesper
    • before some typist-nazi calls me on it:

      s/exect/exec/
      s/annurism quickly/annurism and quickly/

      Beet u 2 it, so their!
      Oops, they're I go again, er, I mean, oops, I did it again!

      Beat ya to it typo nazis, so there! ;)
  • by Marcos Eliziario (969923) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:23PM (#15807615) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft no longer has a coherent vision or a clear strategy. They waste their time trying to attack on several fronts, and in the meantime, their core is abandoned. Vista could have been a technological brakthrough, but they let this opportunity slip. Instead of trying to innovate, they try to emulate others and have been failing miserably. In the past, if only rumor about Microsoft developing a MsPod emerged, this would have a clear effect on Apple stocks. Nowadays, they can formally anounce they are working in it and people will only nod their heads, because they are increasingly losing credibility. They spent millions with IE, had sucessive legal problems because of it, not to mention the security problems, and still they can't face the fact that they could profit from internet making their OS better. Cisco makes money selling routers, why microsoft can't see that they can profit from the internet by having a rock solid, fast and easy-to-use OS? Why do they think that they need to "kill" google, or "kill" iPOd on their own arenas to survive? Instead they should have invested all this money making their core businness stronger, by making their OS the best OS for developers and user alike, by making people "wanting" to use Windows instead of people "Having" to run windows. After that they could even afford the luxury of competing with the iPod or with Google, but not the way they are doing now.
    • (I've forgotten to finish my argument on the last post. Sorry.) So, my point is that all those departures are a clear signal of that crises. Surely they are not leaving because of the money, but they are leaving because they had enough of that crisis and they clearly see where the company is heading, and they don't like what they see.
    • Microsoft no longer has a coherent vision or a clear strategy. They waste their time trying to attack on several fronts, and in the meantime, their core is abandoned

      I have been using Microsoft products since the 70s. Have they ever had a core or coherent IT strategy?

      As far as I can tell, their strategy is purely business-based. It is to make popular products with as little effort on secondary issues (such as security) as possible. They have been focussing on security in recent years not because of any co
      • No. I mean in terms of businness itself. Business is about generating money from the resources you have in the best way you can, and also, this has to be sustainable over time and has to generate more value for the money than other options, or at least give your stakeholders that impression. Do you know the kind of guy/girl that is intelligent, creative, but never finishes what he/starts? Microsoft looks just like that guy. They start a lot of initiatives, make up grandious strategies (do you remember when
        • I think you have written a very good summary, but I think you have missed something. The reason why this seems to be starting to fail is because the computing industry (at least the area where they are trying to make money) has stopped growing and changing as rapidly as it used to. These are not the early days of the PC or Windows when users are impressed by each new product. People are used to Windows, and no amount of publicity for Vista will change the fact that it is yet another version of the same o
          • Thanks for your excellent discussion of the issues
          • I see your point, and I agree with it also, but I still think this a part of the problem, and not the whole explanation. Surely the market has changed and things are different now from what they were some years ago. But, why their response is so blind and erratic?
            And that's where I think that my theory fits in.
            For a comparison, look at Apple. Instead of trying to be everywhere, everytime, they tried to do some few things well done. Instead of trying to compete with google, or yahoo, or whatever, they instea
            • Microsoft should go more simple, take smaller steps and adopt incremental approachs to new business.

              I think one of the problems with Microsoft is that they often do adopt incremental approaches, but in the wrong areas. I remember in the 90s (and even in the late 80s) waiting for Microsoft to produce a robust multi-tasking desktop operating system. It was so concerned about absolute backward compatibility that they held back, and did things very slowly and took decades to do this. On the other hand, they t
            • Some good analysis here. I shall try to add some snips.

              Microsoft *did* succeed in controlling the web - so well in fact, that all the Monopoly issues arose. The court cases discussed the near-monopoly of Windows itself. I am having trouble recalling the final results, but I think the effect was that Microsoft barely stayed within legal limits purely on the OS side, and only got in trouble with Bundling.

              Paul Thurrott's little WGA escapade aside, I do rely on him to explain the fundamentals, and he did slip i
              • Good point. Do you think that all those defections are the external sympthom of Vista having turned into a Death March Project [Yourdon]? After reading your comment this was the first thing that came to my mind.
              • But Microsoft don't controll the web at all. They don't run the majority of webservers or mail servers.

                They do make the most used webbrowser, but they can't really use that for anything anymore. I have not seen an "internet explorer only" website on the public internet, within the last 12 months.

                And having internet explorer, does not help them sell other producs. IIS for example is just as good(ore bad) whenever the client are using, internet explorer, mozilla, firefox or seamnokey.

  • ... as Amazon gets pwned for being completely insecure.

    Honestly, I don't understand why people we've never heard of defecting from Microsoft is newsworthy anymore.
  • Looks like open season on Amazon...

  • Jesper to Mom: It's part of my job, Mom. I fly first class, snip people's ethernet cable, and they pay me well...

    Amazon to Jesper: ...(so far).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    AMAZON is 94% UNIX/LINUX shop
  • AMAZON: Where groceries are better than Vista
  • I remember this guy, I ridiculed him heartily in my blog after he bitched about the way non-Microsoft people handled the WMF exploit.
  • I don't know why he is leaving. Being a "Microsoft Security Guru" is apparently a job with no duties. See this movie: 144,000 known viruses for Microsoft operating systems. [apple.com]

    It appears to me that Microsoft products are deliberately not secure. Because Microsoft has a temporary monopoly, Microsoft makes more money when its product is more defective.

    One of the main purposes of Vista is to get people to buy new computers. Microsoft makes most of its money by selling to computer manufacturers, and Microsoft
  • MS Security Guru

    [snigger]
  • Resume (Score:2, Funny)

    by jmurano (90735)
    If I had been a 'senior security strategist' at Microsoft for the last five years... I'd leave that off of my resume!
  • Given how Microsoft's security track record has gone, I think I shall take my online books business to a new vendor.
  • Great (Score:3, Funny)

    by /dev/trash (182850) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @10:26PM (#15808659) Homepage Journal
    Free crap from Amazon this Christmas!
  • i didn't know there was such a thing
  • This seems like a demotion to me. The security problems Amazon.com faces can't possibly be as big as the security problems Microsoft faces. It is relatively easy to harden a server farm, compared to making an operating system that can stay reasonably secure even when run by novices and below.
    • That's what occured to me too.

      The Cold War perspective (yay, another one defected from Evil Empire!) is amusing, but not very insightful. Why would someone of any ambition to leave mark in OS security switch from MS to Amazon? It doesn't even compare.
      I'd rather say the guy was not very important, was offered more money (i.e. not very important) or was ditched (...) .

  • Maybe he should get together with the Enron accounting guru.
  • I went to a MS security seminar where he was the presenter. He did a really amazing job and cracked a lot of MS jokes. Showed the lack of security in MS products and where it really wasn't as big as it was hyped to be. He was a great presenter and a nice guy. Helped me with some questions. MS lost a good employee here.
  • Sweet! Free books and movies!
  • Microsoft has a security guru? What OS does he use?
  • "is considered one of the world's leading experts on how to protect installations of Windows."

    And Amazon wants this guy?

    Time to stop using your credit card at Amazon.

    Yeah, this is snark. Sue me.

  • I'm an advocate for safe-lock techniques on automobiles. Does that make me an automobile security expert?

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