Apple has launched a bug bounty programme with rewards as high as $200,000, the highest in the industry.
Ivan Krstic, Apple's head of security engineering and architecture, announced the plans at the Black Hat security event, saying that Apple will now pay out for insecurity discoveries as opposed to just putting people's names in a hall of fame.
"We've had great help from researchers in improving iOS security all along. Feedback that we've heard pretty consistently from my team at Apple and from researchers directly is that it's getting increasingly difficult to find some of those most critical security vulnerabilities," Wired quoted Krstic as saying.
"So the Apple Security Bounty Programme is going to reward researchers who share critical vulnerabilities with Apple.
"We go to tremendous lengths when it comes to engineering these security systems that provide trust in how we protect user data. We're fortunate that we've earned trust from our customers, but we realise that that's something we have to keep earning."
Apple is reported to have set out payment levels that include up to $100,000 for extraction of confidential material protected by the Secure Enclave Processor, up to $50,000 for executions of arbitrary code with kernel privileges, and up to $25,000 for access from a sandboxed process to user data outside that sandbox.
The bounties are among some of the highest on offer in the security community, although Apple is probably the last big firm to enter the bug bounty market and may have felt compelled to go big to catch security researchers' attentions.
The need to ensure its devices have strong, robust security was no doubt heightened after the iPhone 5C unlock wrangle with the FBI, which at one point saw the FBI trying to force Apple to unlock the device.
However, this suddenly proved moot when a security firm was able to unlock the iPhone for the FBI using an unknown flaw. This probably made Apple realise that it needs to do more to incentivise researchers to turn over any vulnerabilities they find.
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