Apple is making it known that it’s taking personal security seriously. How so? By offering an even greater ‘bug bounty’ and distributing hackable iPhones to ‘researchers’, naturally.
The move was announced by Apple's head of security engineering and architecture, Ivan Krstić, yesterday at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.
Apple’s hack initiative originally started paying out iOS bounties three years ago, focusing on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and iCloud systems. The new expansion, however, is set to include Mac, iPad, iWatch and Apple TV operating systems.
The company previously paid those who found flaws $200,000 in compensation, with many complaining the figure was too low considering the magnitude of a security breach.
The project is now being opened up to all researchers, rather than the current invite-only basis.
The new $1 million tier will be paid out to hackers capable of gaining full access to iOS devices remotely, without any direct physical interaction. Apple is also offering a 50% bonus to hackers who discover the flaws during the beta stage of testing, bringing that total to $1.5 million.
In addition to news of the payouts, a new program will offer special ‘easy mode’ iPhones with disabled security features to a crack team of researchers. The aim is to expose deeper flaws in the iOS operating system that may not have previously been accessed due to existing security features, Krstic told Bloomberg News.
The news comes months after a US teenager was awarded a payout by the company for discovering a flaw in its FaceTime app which allowed momentary eavesdropping during group calls.
A continued effort my Apple to expose flaws in the system before malicious hackers do, only time will tell whether the new initiative improves overall data security.
- All that security talk convinced you that Apple is for you? Take a look at our list of the best iPad 2019.