- Apple is offering a reward of up to $1 million for hackers who can break into an iPhone and inform the company about how it was done
Apple is providing a reward of up to $1 million for hackers who can break into an iPhone and inform the company about how it was done. Apple announced the massive bug bounty at the annual Black Hat hacker convention in Las Vegas last week. This is Apple’s largest-ever bug bounty and it is five times bigger than its previous largest payout.
Previously, Apple limited its bug bounty program to a select group of hackers. But now the bounty is open for everyone. And the reward will only be paid out for a specific hack, which is a way for someone to gain remote access to the very core of Apple’s iOS software without needing the target (the user’s device) to take any action.
Bug bounties have become popular with a number of major tech companies as a way to fix vulnerabilities in their systems that were not detected before updating their software. This also prevents nefarious individuals from exploiting the vulnerabilities. Government agencies and private agencies around the world have paid money for tools that would allow them to remotely access iPhones.
While these tools are often used for fighting terrorism and crime, it can often be used for nefarious purposes. Earlier this year, CNN conducted an in-depth report about how a hacked phone compromised Jamal Khashoggi that led to his assassination.
Ivan Krstić — the Head of Security Engineering and Architecture at Apple — announced the bug bounty at Black Hat. And Apple is also launching a bug bounty program for Macs, watchOS, and Apple TV. Apple will also give developer devices to bug bounty participants.
The iOS Security Research Device program will available by application only and it will roll out next year. A lower $500,000 bug bounty will be given to those who can find a “network attack requiring no user interaction.” And there’s also a 50% bonus for hackers who are able to find weaknesses in software before it is released.