Apple announces developer iPhones with root access for security research

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Whereas in previous years a bounty of $200,000 represented the cap on what most hackers could hope to attain, and eligibility to try to hack an Apple device for this cash was by invitation only, this fall the stakes will be significantly raised and the bounty open to all comers.

Continuing its bug bounty program to all of its platforms is a very long time coming for Apple, and maybe motivated by individuals withholding disclosure of bugs due to the dearth of incentive.

Apple used the annual Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on Thursday to make some changes to its bug bounty scheme. Not Only Apple but other same level companies are also offering some amount if anyone finds a bug in their products. Earlier too, Apple had announced rewards for researchers.

iFixIt reports that tech giant Apple is taking further steps from preventing their customers from repairing the products they purchased.

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This particular aspect of the bug bounty is open only to those who have successfully applied to the iOS Security Research Device programme. 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.

Apple will also give bug bounty participants "developer devices", which are devices that let hackers dive deeper into iOS. Along with the additional funds on offer, Krstić has made it plain that all Apple platforms, from macOS to iCloud and everything in between, are now fair game for any hacker who can find flaws in them. The special iPhones will be sent to researchers to probe for security weaknesses and chinks in the iOS' armor. The handsets come with secure shell, a root shell and advanced debugging capabilities, which make it easier for researchers to spot bugs. Talking about the latest announcement, if any hackers or researchers hack the iPhone and access it remotely then they will get a reward of 7 crores (US $ 1 million). He displayed the issue by replacing an iPhone XR battery with a genuine Apple authorised battery manually.

However, the release notes for iOS 12.1, released on Tuesday, revealed Apple has brought the controversial feature to the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus - which were released just a year ago.

The phones that are part of Apple's security research program will be much different than your typical iPhone.

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