Apple Increases Bug Bounty Payouts, Launches macOS Program

Apple is software locking iPhone batteries to discourage third-party repairs

Surely this is a troll move by Apple

The company launched a bug bounty programme for iOS three years ago, offering up to $200,000 to ethical hackers that responsibly reported vulnerabilities.

As Apple Insider noted, Apple appears to have alluded to the software lock in support documents last updated in March 2019 that direct users to its official battery replacement program.

This announcement or offer that is disclosed in Annual Summit of the Black Hat Securities.

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Tech fix website iFixit even found that replacing your battery with one made by Apple still triggers the lock.

In its current form, the scope of Apple's Security Bounty is limited to vulnerabilities in iOS and is open only to researchers approved by the Cupertino company.

Apple is looking for hackers to find vulnerabilities in iPhones and Macs, and it has even raised the bounty to a mind-blowing $1 million. 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. It will also expand to include all of Apple's platforms - iOS, iCloud, tvOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS.

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Yesterday, Apple announced that, per Apple's new security bug bounty program, anyone who can hack an iPhone will receive up to $1 million. The special iPhones will be sent to researchers to probe for security weaknesses and chinks in the iOS' armor.

Apple's upping the ante for its bug bounty program comes in the wake of a growing private market where hackers sell information on glitches in these devices to governments for vast sums. These smartphones will come with advanced debugging capabilities and a root shell, among other modifications created to make the software more open and accessible for researchers. If a third-party vendor replaces that battery, even using a genuine Apple battery, that message will continue to display.

However, Apple clearly recognizes that if it's going to maintain world-class security in its products, it will be important that researchers have access to the necessary tools - plus it will help Apple to more effectively close the holes by which such devices leaked out of its supply chain in the past. They are typically used internally to assess the security of sensitive internal components, such as the Secure Enclave Process responsible for encrypting data on the iPhone.

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