Mozilla has hired a former Microsoft security strategist to help lock down its open-source products against online attacks.
Window Snyder, whose hiring was announced yesterday, worked on Microsoft's security-driven Windows XP Service Pack 2 update. She also had a role in the development of Windows Server 2003.
Snyder will take charge of Mozilla's security strategy, a role previously handled by Mozilla's vice-president of engineering, Mike Schroepfer.
"Window has joined MozCorp recently as our new 'chief security something' (that's a working title)," said Schroepfer in a blog posting. "She'll be the public voice of Mozilla Corporation on security issues and help to drive our long-term security strategy."
With hackers finding new and more sophisticated ways to compromise browser security, browser makers such as Mozilla need to keep pace, said Avivah Litan, an analyst with the Gartner research firm.
And as Mozilla has become more popular, security has become even more important, she said. "The attacks have really been targeted toward the 90 percent of the population using IE [Internet Explorer], but as Mozilla's percentage of the browser population goes up, it has more need for [security]," she said.
Mozilla's Firefox is now used by nearly 13 percent of web surfers, according to analytics firm OneStat. Microsoft's IE has about 86 percent market share, the company estimates.