Apple, a company commonly known for keeping its iPhones, iPads, and Macs from hackers, sends iPhone devices that suit hackers to security researchers. Back in July, the company said it was making this ‘special’ iPhone that consumers would not be able to buy. And this week, these iPhones started shipping.
It was mentioned that the iPhones, which we customers buy, have a more locked version of iOS. This makes it harder for hackers to install malware. However, iPhones suitable for hackers given to researchers do not have a locked version of iOS. This is given to researchers because Apple has realized that locked iOS can be difficult for them to analyze and detect security holes.
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As mentioned on the Macrumors website, Apple sent notifications this week about the delivery of the first batch of iPhones to researchers. Also, these devices adapted to hackers were borrowed from Apple for 12 months. But Apple can increase the time if it wants to.
Needless to say, by sharing these custom iPhone hacks, the company expects to detect almost all existing vulnerabilities and fix them immediately. Researchers are encouraged as Apple runs a bug reward program with a payout assigned to whoever first discovers a security flaw.
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The amount of the reward depends on the severity of the vulnerability, with a maximum payout of up to $ 1.5 million (approx ₹11 crores). And since it’s clear to the company that these hacker-friendly iPhones aren’t meant to be used like a regular iPhone, you won’t see them anywhere to buy.