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Apple offers $1.5 million to anyone who can hack their iPhone

Can you hack Apple? Images: Getty

Tech giant Apple is offering US$1 million (AU$1.48 million) to anyone who can hack an iPhone, following in the steps of Tesla’s Elon Musk’s challenge earlier this year.

Apple’s head of security Ivan Krstić announced at a security conference that it would pay hackers the “bug bounty” if they responsibly disclosed to Apple any security vulnerabilities.

Previously, Apple offered US$200,000 to those who could hack and uncover any vulnerabilities, and was limited to a selection of pre-approved security experts.

“We want to attract exceptional researchers who have been focused on other platforms," Krstić said.

These programs are popular in the tech sector with Tesla and Google also holding similar challenges, with the idea that it’s better the tech firms find out about the flaws than their enemies and foreign parties, which could look to exploit the weaknesses.

The boosted bounty will see hackers score US$1 million for a zero-click attack - that is, an attack that can gain control of a user’s phone without any user interaction, just by knowing the user’s number.

Earlier this year Tesla offered a Model 3 vehicle to anyone who could hack into the car and uncover weaknesses, under its Pwn2Own Vancouver competition.

"We develop our cars with the highest standards of safety in every respect, and our work with the security research community is invaluable to us," David Lau, vice president of vehicle software at Tesla, said in January.

And Google also has a similar program, with researcher Guang Gong in January 2018 winning US$112,000 after uncovering a security issue affecting Google’s Pixel phones.

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