Apple has officially launched its updated Security Bounty program, which now covers all of the company’s operating systems and features a much larger payout.
The Cupertino tech giant first announced the changes to its bug bounty program back in August. Notably, the initiative can now pay out bounties up to $1 million for bugs and security vulnerabilities, depending on the type and severity of the issue.
Additionally, all of Apple’s platforms are now included in the bug bounty programs — including iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS.
And, notably, Apple is also offering a 50 percent bonus for critical bugs found within beta software, which brings the top payout up to $1.5 million.
Previously, the program only covered iOS and it had a maximum bounty payout of $200,000.
Apple will also publicly acknowledge the bug’s discoverer. And, interestingly, if they decide to donate the bounty to charity, Apple says that it will also match that donation.
While the initiative is obviously aimed at security researchers and white hat hackers, pretty much anyone can collect a bounty. Apple actually encourages anyone who finds a bug or vulnerability to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The only stipulations are that the bounty is clear and reproducible, and that the discoverer can’t publicly disclose it until Apple fixes the issue. Of course, only the first person to find a bug will get the bounty.
The program could go a long way toward helping Apple to secure its software. Bug bounty programs like this one are oftentimes responsible for finding critical or severe security vulnerabilities before they are exploited in the wild.
And it’s just one way that Apple actually helps secure its users’ devices and data.
This week, Apple also published an updated Apple Platform Security Guide that offers details about all of the cybersecurity features and mechanisms that it builds into its devices.
There have been security-related white papers and support documents in the past, but this new guide lets users easily see all of the ways that their Apple devices help protect their data. All in one place.
Apple devices are normally thought of as pretty secure, especially its closed systems like iOS and tvOS. With that being said, there are still plenty of threats to Apple users’ security and privacy online.