Technology 2 min read

Apple Raises its Maximum Bug Bounty Payout to $1 Million

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Attention all hackers! Apple has increased the maximum bug bounty for its iPhone to $1 million USD. The sum is deemed the highest amount offered by any tech company so far.

Apple’s head of security, Ivan Krstic, made the announcement Thursday last week at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas. According to Krstic, the company will provide security researchers with unique iPhones so that they could look for vulnerabilities more efficiently.

Apple called its latest iPhone security effort, the iOS Security Research Device Program. It will start next year, and anyone can apply. However, Krstic noted that only qualified security researchers would be admitted to the program and receive special devices.

“This is an unprecedented fully Apple supported iOS security research platform,” Krstic said.

Bug Bounty to Attract Security Researchers

With Apple’s willingness to shell out up to a million dollars in bug bounty, the program is expected to attract more researchers. Something that the company hopes to accomplish next year.

Speaking about the special iPhone devices, Krstic said that they would be equipped with advanced debugging capabilities. These capabilities will give researchers more freedom to explore iOS and look for vulnerabilities.

In a statement, bug bounty platform HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos said:

“It is important for companies, especially those dealing with mounds of sensitive personal data, to have a public-facing way to report bugs and vulnerabilities.”

Vulnerability rewards program or bug bounty program is a crowdsourcing initiative used by electronics and technology companies to strengthen their products’ security features.

Hacking Devices Could Earn you Thousands of Dollars

Aside from Apple; Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and even Tesla have their vulnerability rewards programs.

Earlier this year, Tesla offered a brand new Model 3 and cash rewards to hackers who could break into its vehicle’s software security successfully.

Google, on the other hand, have paid researchers a total of $700,000 last 2012 for finding a system bug in its Chrome browser. That’s just a year after the search engine giant launched its bug rewards program.

In a blog posted last week, Microsoft Azure also announced that it’s increasing its top bounty reward to $40,000 USD.

Azure will also invite a select group of people to “to emulate criminal hackers in a customer-safe cloud environment called the Azure Security Lab.

Read More: Inside A Bug Bounty Hunting Economy That Google And The DoD Support

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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