Wednesday, 13 November, 2019


Apple offers $1 million reward to anyone who can hack an iPhone

Contacts on iPhones vulnerable to hack attack Report Contacts on iPhones vulnerable to hack attack Report
Melba Vasquez | 13 August, 2019, 16:31

Apple has put forward some terms and conditions to redeem the top prize which requires specific hacks that show the loophole to enter the platform without distorting the administrative file and verification system. In the researchers' case, they modified Apple's own iOS Contacts app so that entering commands when searching for contacts could crash the app or do other unintended things, like stealing passwords. Once the replacement code was inserted, they could choose what results are produced when the user searched the Contacts database.

The Check Point researchers discovered the vulnerability in SQLite, an industry-standard database format.

Apple announced the biggest ever payout by the company, in Las Vegas recently, during the annual Black Hat hacker convention. Reportedly, the bug seemed to be unimportant because it was believed that it could only be exploited by an unknown app. This spread covers eight years of devices (iOS 8 supports the 2011 iPhone 4S) and, with Tim Cook stating there are 1.4BN active iOS devices around the world, this is worrying news for the owners of pretty much all of them. On a walled-garden system like iOS, there are no unknown apps.

Check Point has already informed about the exploit and its research methodologies to Apple. "Sure this is a win for Apple, but ultimately this a huge win for Apple's end users". According to Apple, there will be a limited quantity handed out. But the recent revelations of serious bugs in iMessage and FaceTime emphasize that even Apple devices are vulnerable to hacking. Google researchers shared the vulnerabilities with the iPhone maker, which fixed most of the flaws before they were made public.

The bug was reported back in 2015 against both Mac OS X and iOS but has remained unfixed on the iOS side.

Offering rewards to security scientists for uncovering errors in software and hardware might compel them to report the errors to the firm, making Apple's products more secure and safer.

The so-called "bug bounty" is the highest one offered by any major tech company - far surpassing the £124k offered by Google for finding security holes in Google code.

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