Today Silent Circle, creator of the encrypted Android-based Black Phone, welcomes security heavyweight Bill Conner to its Board of directors. Like many on the Silent Circle team, Conner is well versed in government-level security tech.
Conner and I first met in 2009 to discuss the Zeus attacks out of Eastern Europe that were slowly siphoning money out of American bank accounts. He accurately predicted that this was just the beginning. In the years to come, Conner said, we would see a slew of hacks on banks and retailers, because the U.S. was woefully unprepared for any kind of cyberattack.
Conner has a solid background in securing communication technology. For more than a decade, he was president and CEO of Entrust, a security company that made a mobile and landline authentication chip for Interpol and also developed authentication technology for passports and the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to that, he worked for Nortel and AT&T.
Earlier this year, Silent Circle took in $30 million in funding to better handle demand for its secure handset. CEO Mike Janke expects to have sold 2 million phones by the beginning of this year, according to an October interview with the Washington Post. That means the company is growing fast and will need guidance to make it to the next stage of development without setbacks. Conner’s appointment may be just the kind of guidance the company could use.