Apple to pay bug spotters up to $200,000Under a new bounty program, the company will reward some security researchers who find holes in its software and services.
Apple will hack people to hack its products. At the Deathcon security conference in Las Vegas, Apple's Head of Security, Engineering, and Architecture announced Apple's new Security Bounty Program. The company will pay researchers up to $200,000 if they find bugs in Apple's software or services. At first, Apple's new program will be limited to about two dozen researchers on an invite-only basis These researchers had reported bugs to Apple in the past, but did not receive compensation. So how does someone land $200,000 from Apple? That prize is for researchers who find bugs in Apple's secure boot firmware. That firmware is what stops unapproved programs from launching when iOS is started up. Apple is also offering smaller prizes for other bug finds. For example, a researcher could earn up to $50,000 for finding a bug related to accessing iCloud account data. By the way, the amount of money Apple is offering is significant. Microsoft pays up to $100,000 for Windows 10 bugs. Google pays up to $100,000 for Chrome vulnerabilities. Apple's biggest bounty is double those and it is related to it's most important product the iPhone. If you're a user of Apple products, what does this mean for you? A bounty system is likely to increase the amount of scrutiny on Apple software. That, in turn, should lead to more secure devices at a faster rate as Apple patches systems when notified of bugs. In short, your data and devices should be more secure than it would have been without the system in place. However, that does not mean your devices will be bulletproof. Apple security bounty program will launch in September. That's it for this tech news update, I'm Maya Zacktrone and you can stay on top of the biggest stories at cnet.com/update.