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Friday, 05 August 2016 11:02

Apple announces bug bounty programme Featured


Apple has announced a bug bounty programme which will be by invitation only and will pay a maximum of US$200,000.

The announcement was made at the annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

Apple head of security engineering and architecture, Ivan Ksrtic, said the programme would be open to 24 handpicked researchers at the start, but others who submitted bug reports in any of five classifications could also be eligible for rewards.

For bugs in secure boot firmware components, the reward will be US$200,000. Bugs relating to the extraction of confidential material protected by the secure enclave processor will net US$100,000.

The other classes of bugs that will earn rewards will be execution of arbitrary code with kernel privileges (US$50,000), unauthorised access to iCloud accounts on Apple servers (US$50,000) and access from a sandboxed process to user data outside that sandbox (US$25,000).

The chosen researchers can look for bugs in both iOS and iCloud.

Ksrtic was quoted as saying: "We've had great help from researchers like you in improving iOS security all along. As the mechanisms we build get stronger, the feedback I've gotten from my team is that it’s getting increasingly difficult to find those vulnerabilities.

"The Apple bounty programme will reward researchers who share critical vulnerabilities with Apple and we will make it a top priority to resolve those and provide public recognition."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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