Apple is giving hackers free iPhones to hunt down iOS security bugs


It’s something that most brands dread, but Apple is actually inviting hackers to hack into its iPhones.

The tech giant will provide white hat hackers with free modified iPhones as part of its Apple Security Research Device Program.

As part of the programme, the hackers will try to identify and flag any vulnerabilities in Apple’s iOS operating system.

Apple explained: “As part of Apple’s commitment to security, this program is designed to help improve security for all iOS users, bring more researchers to iPhone, and improve efficiency for those who already work on iOS security.

“It features an iPhone dedicated exclusively to security research, with unique code execution and containment policies.”

The special iPhones are essentially pre-jailbroken, and let hackers run any tool of their choosing.

Otherwise, the iPhones behave as any other Apple smartphone would, allowing hackers to replicate real life security scenarios.

To qualify for the programme, researchers must be existing members of the Apple Developer Program and have a proven track record of success in finding security issues on Apple platforms, or other modern operating systems and platforms.

Apple added: “The Security Research Device (SRD) is intended for use in a controlled setting for security research only.

“Shell access is available, and you’ll be able to run any tools and choose your entitlements. Otherwise, the SRD behaves as closely to a standard iPhone as possible in order to be a representative research target.

“SRDs are provided on a 12-month renewable basis and remain the property of Apple.

“They are not meant for personal use or daily carry, and must remain on the premises of program participants at all times. Access to and use of SRDs must be limited to people authorised by Apple.”


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