Ivan Krstic, Head of Security Engineering at Apple Inc., has revealed that the tech company would reward hackers who can find vulnerability in its iPhones and Macs with a sumptuous amount of $1 million.
The reward previously pegged at $200, 000 was increased to $1 million, and the challenge was thrown open to all researchers. Previously only those on the company’s invite-only bug bounty program were eligible to receive rewards. This is by far the highest bug bounty on offer from any major tech company.
Krstic made this known in Las Vegas this week. The full $1 million will go to researchers who can find a hack of the kernel—the core of iOS—with zero clicks required by the iPhone owner. Another $500,000 will be given to those who can find a “network attack requiring no user interaction.” There’s also a 50% bonus for hackers who can find weaknesses in software before it’s released.
Apple is increasing those rewards in the face of an increasingly profitable private market where hackers sell the same information to governments for vast sums.
Hackers have been able to expose the vulnerabilities of Apple devices lately. Some of the information gathered have been sold to government or shared broadly. The improved incentives, called ‘bug bounty’, on offer will help Apple gain access to knowledge of its own vulnerabilities instead of allowing premium information to leak and get sold to competitors or cyber-criminals.
Tech companies are working harder than before to guide against breach and intellectual property theft in order to maintain users’ confidence, as well as ward off competitors from accessing its top secret. Microsoft recently announced it paid hackers $4.4 million to get a heads-up on security issues before they are passed on to cynical cyber-criminals and competitors who would exploit its vulnerabilities. Lately, it was also revealed that messages across popular messaging app, Whatsapp, can be intercepted and manipulated.
Apple Inc. is based in Cupertino, California, United States. It was founded by the trio of Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Presently, it is the 4th most valuable company in the world, after slipping from 2nd, due to sales decline in its iPhone division.
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