Apple Reportedly Calls up iPhone and Mac Hackers for Invite-Only Bug Bounty Program

Apple has reportedly reached out to a handful of high profile iPhone and Mac hackers to try and secure their operating systems from exploits that could be used maliciously or for jailbreaking.

The hackers are expected to meet at the Cupertino campus some time this month, where they can earn up to $200,000 for finding major exploits as part of Apple’s bug bounty program.

Those names allegedly include Luca Todesco (who jailbroke the iPhone 7), Nicholas Allegra, and Patrick Wardle (who has found exploits in OS X in the past). Other names on the list reportedly include Stefan Esser, Francisco Alonso, Pedro Vilaca, Braden Thomas, Steven De Franco (also known as ih8snow, who just recently launched 32-bit iBoot Patcher) and others.

These individuals have reportedly been requested by Apple to keep the meeting between them a secret, as Apple is working on an invite-only system for its upcoming bug bounty program. The ultimate reward for the program is up to $200,000 for the person that can provide details on vulnerabilities that can be exploited across its device lineup.

The report indicates, based on information gathered from unnamed sources, that Apple went through a list of those who have submitted vulnerability reports in the past, as well as those who have made a name for themselves in other avenues, to be the first participants in the bounty program. The current list “is not too big at all,” as Apple is reportedly focusing quality over quantity, and wants “actionable information” as quickly as possible.

Of course, it’s ultimately going to be up to the hackers to participate or not, as various third party sources often pay several times more than what Apple’s offering for security holes in Apple’s devices.



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