Apple is locking iPhone battery health info to deter third-party fix

Yolanda Curtis
August 11, 2019

Starting this Fall, Apple plans to move its vulnerability reward program to a new stage that allows wider engagement from the infosec community.

Apple's head of security, Ivan Krstic, unveiled the iOS Security Research Device program at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas this week.

Even the discovery of smaller weaknesses could result in a paycheck of $500,000 for hackers who find them for Apple's pre-release correction.

Apple will provide the iPhones beginning next year as part of their new iOS Security Research Device Program, launching next year.

It's not a bug; it's a feature Apple wants. The corporate announced right now that it's launching a brand new bug bounty program that may pay people as much as $1 million for discovering and disclosing safety flaws in macOS, tvOS, watchOS and iCloud. Any hacker successfully able to gain full control of an Apple device with no input or aid from the device's owner will be rewarded $1 million.

Lower rewards, between $100,000 and $250,000, are for exploiting vulnerabilities that require physical access to the device or user interaction.

By together with its different working methods, Apple is extending the bug bounty program that it first launched for iOS in 2016.

As media reported on Monday, Apple can be launching a Mac bug bounty, which was confirmed Thursday, but it's also extending it to watch OS and its Apple TV operating system.

For obvious reasons, these specialized iPhones will only be given to trusted security researchers that have been vetted by Apple, although it won't be an invitation-only program - anyone is welcome to apply, but Apple will be looking for those with a "track record of high-quality systems security research on any platform".

To top these off, Apple is also offering a select few security researchers a special iPhone that has several of the security layers pulled off.

As per The Verge, the handsets will come with ssh, a root shell, and advanced debug capabilities, all created to make it easier for security researchers to uncover bugs before hackers do.

If you're using an Apple device, simply make sure you've updated to macOS 10.14.6 and iOS 12.4 in order to protect yourself from these attacks.

Think you have what it takes to hack the iPhone? Previously they are also invited to the researchers to find problems in iPhone and with the latest research if they could find any issues in iPhone Securities.

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