$1 Million Reward for Anyone Who Can Hack An iPhone

Sheri Evans
August 12, 2019

In June, researcher Patrick Wardle spotted a flaw that would make it possible for intruders to bypass security prompts in the company's macOS software, as Wired reported. Thereafter, there are half a million dollars on offer for anyone who can manage to gain unauthorized zero-click access to confidential user info over a network without requiring user intervention.

The special devices will be different from the regular iPhones, as it will come with ssh, a root shell, and advanced debug capabilities to ensure identification of bugs.

Apple said that it is expanding its existing bug bounty program to include macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and iCloud.

The bug bounty programme was first launched for iOS in 2016.

Previously, this was an automatic feature in every iPhone, but following outrage from users, Apple began giving them the option to turn it off in iOS 11.3.

Apple has increased its bug bounty from $200,000 to $1m, which is the highest bug bounty on offer from a tech company.

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These devices will be available as from next year, and the company hopes it will help them discover bugs easier before it lands in wrong hands. Plus, there is another 50 percent bonus on offer as well if the researcher is able to report any bug in any pre-release build of Apple software.

Instead of a battery diagnostic page which details health and whether the battery needs to be replaced, altered phones display a "Service" message.

Apple has recently activated a software feature to discourage people from installing both third-party batteries and original batteries on their own.

Justin points out that the chip - technically named Single-Cell Li-Ion Battery Fuel Gauge for Battery Pack Integration - has been there for a long time but it has never been used for this objective until very recently, when Apple made a decision to activate a feature to authenticate the batteries as both original parts and replaced by Apple official fix service. This happens even if the battery is swapped for a genuine Apple battery.

So, it's good news for all as anybody can take part in this. "They could make it 5M, and it would still be worth it to them in the medium to long term". In the end, this is just another play to ensure as many repairs as possible go through Apple and no one else, and it serves as a another good argument for why Right to fix legislation is in the best interests of consumers.

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