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Cracking iOS 10 security will net you $1.5 million

Published Sep 30th, 2016 8:51AM EDT
iOS 10 Jailbreak Zero-Day Exploits
Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

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The iPhone is one of the most secure devices you can purchase these days, but Apple’s security is far from being hack-proof. iOS 10 has already been jailbroken, although the jailbreak isn’t yet available to the masses. That means there are vulnerabilities in the code that hackers can use to get access to the phone. And a company that sells such exploits has raised its bug bounty for iPhone zero-day attacks — the kind of vulnerabilities that Apple hasn’t yet discovered — to $1.5 million.

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Zerodium is the exploit broker that’s willing to pay $500,000 more than last year’s $1 million bounty for similar hacks. As Wired reports, the money will go to anyone who can perform a remote jailbreak of an iPhone running iOS 10.

In 2015, Zerodium was offering $500,000 for iOS 9 bugs. Comparatively, Android and Windows Phone bugs paid for up to $100,000. This year, Android 7.0 Nougat vulnerabilities can net a hacker up to $200,000, but iOS 10 is still the most lucrative option.

“We’ve increased the price due to the increased security for both iOS 10 and Android 7,” company founder Chaouki Bekrar told Wired. “We would like to attract more researchers all year long.”

Bekrar, who also founded French hacking firm Vupen, said that Zerodium’s clients are mostly North American governments and corporations, and government agencies in allied countries. Vupen also develops its own software intrusion techniques for private clients, mostly governments.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.