Why Apple Needs To Pay Hackers More. Much More.


Apple has always had a reputation for security. It used to be a thing of pride for Steve Jobs to announce the number of viruses that were released for Microsoft as compared to OS X. Yes, no doubt Apple had the more robust operating system for traditional computers but it was also never much of a target because of its minuscule market share, especially outside of the United States.

In the case of mobile operating systems, though, Apple finds itself as one of the foremost operating systems and while it may not have the numbers to match Android, it is high profile enough and large enough to warrant the sharp focus of the best hackers in the business.

iOS bugs and vulnerabilities are one of the most sought after ones on the underground market and thus command the most amount of money. One way that Apple has sought to find these bugs are by offering a bounty to hackers that can successfully demonstrate and exploit iOS.

It currently offers $200,000 per exploit, which is far more than what Google offers for Android ($50,000) or Chrome ($100,000). It is, in fact. More than what any other company offers but still not enough to be able to attract the attention of the hackers that find these exploits.

For these hackers, it remains much more profitable to find an exploit and then keep it secret from the rest of the world, selling it to people or organizations that might have nefarious purposes. The recent exploit that was demonstrated to be able to remotely jailbreak an iPhone cause Apple to release an emergency patch that would make this bug redundant.

It was the first time that such a capability was demonstrated in the wild, however, it does not mean that this was the first time such an attack was carried out.

For Apple, such an attack was damaging to its reputation for security, especially when compared to Android. One of the reasons to recommend an iPhone over an Android has always been the fact that the platform is much more secure. For people that are dealing with sensitive data, this is a very big deal.

What is also surprising is the fact that Apple continues to get outbid consistently by much smaller organisations looking to make money of these vulnerabilities. For a company that has more cash reserves than most of countries on this planet, it may be a good idea to up the ante and offer bigger rewards for a start.

Apple will also need to look at its own internal structure that is responsible for finding bugs in the code. As most people will know, looking for these vulnerabilities in code is actually a much tougher job than writing new code and companies spend millions trying to prevent such exploits from ever surfacing.

The world we live in at the moment is a tumultuous one and where such exploits have a very real human cost attached to them. Writing a perfect piece of software may not be realistic or even possible but Apple owes it to its users to commit fully to winning this cyber war.


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