Apple brings bug bounty program with $200,000 offer

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Technology major Apple announced its first-ever bug bounty program offering cash up to $200,000 to researchers who discover vulnerabilities in Apple products.

Announcing this at the Black Hat cyber-security conference in Las Vegas, Apple’s Head of Security Engineering and Architecture, Ivan Krstic, said the programme will offer cash rewards for working exploits that target the latest version of iOS or the most recent generation of hardware.

Set for launch in September, the invitation-only bug bounty program will be open to researchers who have previously made valuable vulnerability disclosures to Apple.

“However, Apple won’t turn away new researchers if they provide useful disclosures,” the report said.

The programme is limited to five bugs categories — the most valuable category is worth up to $200,000 for vulnerabilities that compromise the secure boot firmware components.

To be eligible, researchers will need to provide a proof-of-concept on the latest iOS and hardware.

Bug bounty programmes are increasingly becoming popular with tech companies. Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have bug bounty programmes in place for years.

Google paid more than $2 million in bug bounties to researchers last year, mostly for Android vulnerabilities.