It has been more than a year since Yahoo’s last chief information security officer left the company. Now the Internet giant is getting close to naming a new one.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm to Re/code that Yahoo has hired Alex Stamos as its next CISO. His first day on the job will be March 10, and he’ll be reporting directly to CEO Marissa Mayer.
Stamos is a prominent figure in computer security circles. He was the primary organizer behind TrustyCon, the one-day security conference that took place Thursday in San Francisco. TrustyCon’s agenda was comprised largely of speakers who withdrew in protest from the larger RSA Conference following allegations that security company RSA had colluded with the National Security Agency.
Stamos is the CTO of Artemis Internet, a San Francisco-based domain hosting firm that is overseeing the Internet’s newly-created .secure top-level domain. He’s also co-founder of iSEC Partners, a security services and consulting firm.
He’s a respected researcher in the field of securing web applications and web services who has spoken at several of the industry’s most important conferences, including Black Hat, CanSecWest, DefCon and Microsoft BlueHat.
The backlash against the RSA Conference emerged after Reuters reported last year that RSA, the security division of IT giant EMC, used encryption technology that had been created by the U.S. National Security Agency in its products in order to create a “back door” in them, in return for a secret $10 million payment. RSA has since denied the report. Even so, demand for a counter-conference turned out to be strong: Within 10 days, Stamos and other organizers were selling tickets. Some 400 seats sold out in three days; SpiderOak and the Web security company CloudFlare offered sponsorship funds. And there are plans afoot to keep the event going in the future.
Yahoo’s last security lead was Justin Somaini who left the company in January of 2013 and is now VP and chief trust officer at the enterprise cloud company Box. Somaini left during a period when Mayer was said to be looking to remake the upper ranks of Yahoo management.
Yahoo declined to comment.
Amir Efrati of The Information reported this move on Twitter a few weeks ago.