It would seem that some tech companies have figured a great way to stop hackers from doing what they do best, hacking into secure software systems for personal gain. How are they going to go about doing that?
It was recently announced by officials at Apple that the company would begin paying out bounties to anyone who can identify flaws or vulnerabilities in any of the company’s software programs or the overall operating system. These rewards could go as high as $200,000 for reporting major vulnerabilities found in a software’s security system and / or firewalls.
On the face of it, that would mean that hackers could cash in big for alerting Apple programmers about security flaws instead of taking advantage of those security flaws for personal gain. This offer effectively turns hackers into partners with the software giant when it comes to trying to find ways to make software programs more secure.
Considering the potential financial rewards awaiting hackers who are hired by governments and criminal enterprises to take advantage of these flaws and vulnerabilities, it remains to be seen how many people will be willing to take the high ground and become a software friend instead of foe.
Many industry insiders say this announcement was long overdue. For quite a few years now, other major tech companies like Microsoft, Facebook and Google have already had a bounty system in place. Even though Apple would seem to be a bit late to the party, the amounts they are offering as part of its bounty program are significantly higher than those being offered by the aforementioned competitors.
For example, Microsoft has reportedly offered to pay as much as $100,000 for major flaws found in its Windows 10 operating system. With other tech giants coming in behind that number, maybe Apple is using the reward amount as an incentive for the best hackers in the world to focus on helping Apple instead of the competition.