BUG BOUNTY PROGRAM – TOWARDS A SAFER WORLD

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BUG BOUNTY PROGRAM – TOWARDS A SAFER WORLD

What hackers have to offer to the world is all out in the open. Without getting into the nomenclature of it and restricting only to their demonstrated skills, they have the wherewithal to improve cyber security in a transformational manner. Suffice to say, anything momentous in the digital world with security considerations is not going to be successful. Companies being satisfied with own their testing teams, however accomplished, is missing out on the strength of readily available crowdsourced resources, for a small price.

Probably, with this thinking Apple opened its Bug Bounty Program to all security researchers. This move might well turn out to be the game changer in the field of cyber security. Apple has been providing highest levels of security and since its inception believed in the integration of hardware and software with the intention of creating a very safe working ecosystem for its users. Nonetheless, when hacking has become the new normal, breaches are bound to happen.

The size of the bounty decides the types of researchers / hackers who will follow it and the great results that would follow them. Apple is offering rewards of $1 million and more for discovering major flaws in the operating system. The mechanisms laid down for this program would create a new ecosystem in Apple for making its products / services more secure. This program has been open by invitation only since its launch in 2016.

Internally satisfied by its utility, Apple in August at the Black Hat Conference announced that is was opening this program to the public. It now includes operating systems beyond iOS, that is iCloud, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS would be on the bug bounty list. A giant leap forward. The researcher will have to submit enough detail to allow Apple to reproduce it. Top payouts will go to discovery of bugs affecting multiple Apple platforms, especially the ones affecting latest Apple devices / software. A beta version super kill would entitle the researcher a 50% bonus.

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