Apple Will Be Offering Better Bug Bounties


Apple first introduced the bug bounty program back in 2016 for iOS, allowing security specialists who found bugs to receive a cash reward for their work, and for disclosing the vulnerability to Apple so it could be patched before it's used by bad actors to cause harm.

At the time of launch, there were five different categories of risk and reward.

Apple will also start offering a 50 percent bonus for any bugs found in its pre-release builds. The exclusive handsets will come with ssh, a root shell, and advanced debug capabilities.

Apple will also give bug bounty participants "developer devices", which are devices that let hackers dive deeper into iOS.

Any individual or organisation interested in receiving the $1m bounty will have to demonstrate that they can gain complete control of a phone, simply by knowing a target's phone number, without any user interaction at all.

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.

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Apple has also extended its "bug bounty" research program to even cover its other Operating systems including macOS, tvOS, watchOS, iPadOS, and iCloud.

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. This happens even if the battery is swapped for a genuine Apple battery.

Security experts have also noticed vulnerabilities in Apple's products in recent years. Unless an Apple Genius or an Apple Authorised Service Provider authenticates a battery to the phone, that phone will never show its battery health and always report a vague, ominous problem.

Think you have what it takes to hack the iPhone?

The Verge commented: "The evidence suggests that people hold onto their phones for longer when they have access to cheap battery repairs". This is good news to those who wanted to be part of this task and was locked out because the bounties were limited only to invites in the past.