According to Forbes, Apple will provide security researchers with a special iPhone, making it easier for them to discover iOS bugs. About this, Apple will announce at the Black Hat Security Conference later this week.
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As the source claims, these iPhones will be given to security researchers who participate in Apple’s ‘Invitation Only’ vulnerability award program. Through this program, researchers can be rewarded for revealing iOS vulnerabilities to Apple, which Apple promised to offer in 2016.
What is the difference between this special iPhone compared to consumer models?
A source familiar with Apple’s statement said that these devices will essentially be ‘development equipment.’ This kind of iPhone can do more than the traditionally locked iPhone. For example, it should be possible to detect parts of the Apple operating system that are not easily accessible on commercial iPhones. In particular, this special device allows hackers to stop the processor and check for vulnerabilities in memory.
Despite the increased openness, the iPhone will not be completely unlocked like the devices used by Apple’s internal developers and security team members. For example, security researchers using these devices may not be able to decrypt the iPhone firmware.
In addition, the report also said that Apple will also launch a Mac bounty program. This is similar to the iOS vulnerability bounty, rewarding researchers who find security vulnerabilities in Mac OS.
In February of this year, a security researcher detailed the behavior of Mac OS exploiting the vulnerability to access the keychain password. But since Apple did not have a vulnerability reward program for Mac OS, he refused to share details with Apple. Although Apple did not publicly announce the vulnerability reward program, the researchers eventually shared the details of the vulnerability with Apple.
At this week’s Black Hat conference, we may learn more about Apple’s new special edition iPhone, as well as the Mac OS vulnerability bounty.