Published: Sun, August 11, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple offers security researchers $1 mn, special iPhones

Apple offers security researchers $1 mn, special iPhones

Apple, during Thursday's annual Black Hat security conference held in Las Vegas, stated that the company will make the process open to all the researchers.

A new program, called iOS Security Research will be launched next year and open to everyone as long as they have a high-quality systems security track record.

For example, earlier this year an Arizona teen discovered a serious flaw in FaceTime, and although Apple did the right thing by providing a bug bounty for his discovery, this was an exception that may have only been made as result of the high-profile nature of the security flaw.

Apple is now offering hackers up to $1 million if your able to hack into iPhones and tell them how you did it.

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iFixit wrote: "It's not a bug; it's a feature Apple wants". The company also doubled the top Azure bug bounty reward for researchers to $40,000. The latest reward of United States dollars 1 million is up from Apple's previous highest bounty of USD 200,000 (around Rs 1.41 crores). However, this the iOS security research device program is available only to researchers who have great experience in security research on any platforms. Researchers can also gain up to 50% bonus if they find any bugs in a pre-released software.

The special devices will be different from the regular iPhones, as it will come with ssh, a root shell, and advanced debug capabilities to ensure identification of bugs. In a digital world where one skillful hacker can compromise the data of millions and cost the associated company in charge of that data billions, companies like Apple have always been heading this problem off at the pass by offering world-class hackers money upfront to point out flaws in operating systems and new devices that might not otherwise be caught by in-house designers.

Apple is increasing the rewards in an attempt to offset the increasingly profitable private market where hackers sell the same information to governments for vast amounts of money.

Unlike other technology providers, Apple previously offered rewards only to invited researchers who tried to find flaws in its phones and cloud backups. Meanwhile, the company will give $500,000 to anyone who can find a "network attack requiring no user interaction".

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