Bounty Hunting Apple’s Security Flaws

Laura BednarCybersecurity and VulnerabilitiesLeave a Comment

Apple Creates Bug Bounty Program

Code is far from foolproof. That’s part of the reason computer programs are regularly upgraded, new devices are always launching, and the landscape keeps changing. Sure, these changes get more intricate with each update, but that doesn’t change the fact that thousands of updates occur regularly to patch security holes.

No system is immune from this. From video games to apps to traditional computer programs, all of them have glitches. Testing has to occur from the get-go, and even when the software is released, it is always beta tested by certain groups of users as well. Again, no system is immune, not even a giant in the business, like Apple.

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Security Threats

Cybercriminals come from everywhere. They can be small groups of individuals or even one individual. They can also be organized crime syndicates working for nation-states such as China. Cybercriminals have attacked major industries, taken down entire cities, leaked confidential information, and held Fortune 500 companies for ransom. Apple is just as concerned about security threats as any other company, as software vulnerabilities could cause major problems.

Apple’s Bug Bounty Program

Three years ago, Apple launched a program allowing outside security experts to access certain shell systems to exploit unforeseen holes. This was unheard of at Apple, a company known for keeping all if its proprietary software and hardware confidential. The program was launched out of necessity. Cybercrime is running rampant. It’s becoming a multi-trillion dollar business, and Apple is hedging its bets that allowing vetted security researchers access will help find bugs that may have been overlooked.

Currently, the bug bounty program is looking to reward top researchers $1 million for finding vulnerabilities. The program will hopefully make Apple’s cybersecurity air tight. According to the head of security engineering and architecture at Apple, Ivan Krstić, researchers will be allowed to dig around inside of Apple’s iOS. Researchers will have access to a root shell and advanced debugging capabilities.

Incentives to Ethically Hack

Apple is hoping that hackers who are amazing at what they do will be incentivized to turn over information to Apple rather than to an unethical third-party. Of course, all researchers chosen for the bug program will be vetted to ensure cybersecurity. Undoubtedly, Apple is aware of the risks of letting outside researchers utilize their platforms to exploit potential entry points for hackers. You can bet Apple has plenty of measures in place to keep selected researchers honest, not including the million-dollar prize.

The Growing Threat of Cybercrime

With Apple adopting more relaxed policies regarding their iOS to ensure security, it raises the question of how safe any system truly is. The truth is that where there is a will, there is a way. Cybercriminals always seem to find a backdoor into systems that seem very secure. Of course, just like any criminal, most cybercriminals will look for easy entry points. Systems that aren’t kept updated with the latest security programs are easy targets for cybercriminals. It’s the reason why small businesses are becoming targeted more and more every year. The giant companies are realizing how important security is, and they can afford to have IT departments working around the clock to prevent data breaches and hacking attempts.

If giants like Apple are worried, then you should be too. Secure Forensics is a company specializing in cybersecurity. They offer services that can repel malware and prevent data breaches and can deploy anywhere worldwide in 24 hours. If you’d like to know more, call Secure Forensics at 1-800-288-1407.