Apple pulls out of its first official appearance at Black Hat and its actions may draw hackers' ire...

Apple disses hackers' Black Hat convention - 60-Second Science Blog - Scientific American

Thanks to this move and a few other gestures of ill will toward its customers (such as dropping the price of the iPhone last year shortly after many had purchased one), says Herbert "Hugh" Thompson, chief security strategist at New York software security firm People Security, "Apple's shield of being a charmed company could be lifting." Hackers could take offense at the move and start turning their attention to the security flaws in the company's computers, software and cell phones, Thompson says.

As leaders in the software and networking markets, respectively, Microsoft and Cisco attract attention because hackers who develop attacks against these companies' products affect the most people. "Risk, in an operating systems in particular, is a function of how vulnerable you are and how much people want to attack you," Thompson says. Apple's products, in particular its QuickTime Internet media player, are not more secure than these high profile targets, but the public's sentiment has always been in their favor. "The damage is going to come now," he adds, "as people speculate as to why (they pulled out of Black Hat) and start disparaging them."