Home > Uncategorized > For Apple, Potential Flaw May Be a Wake-Up Call |

For Apple, Potential Flaw May Be a Wake-Up Call |

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
For the latest updates, go to nytimes.com/bits »
Daily Report
 Timothy D. Cook has found himself in a strange position. It looks like someone knows about an important flaw in Apple’s flagship product, and won’t tell its chief executive what it is.
That could be because Apple doesn’t pay outside hackers who find exploitable flaws in Apple software. Paying so-called “bug hunters” has become the norm at many tech companies, and the United States government does it too.
In fact, that is probably how it attracted a third party that claims to have a method for cracking the encryption on an iPhone. The government was getting ready to take Apple to court to make Apple decrypt the phone used by the San Bernardino gunman, but late on Monday the Justice Department said an outside party had demonstrated a way to get around Apple’s protections.
That announcement appears to have at least stalled what many saw as a seminal case on privacy, encryption and the rights of the state in the age of computer communications.
And it may serve as an wake-up call to Apple about how it safeguards its products.
As Nicole Perlroth writes, Google has paid over $6 million to outside hackers who have alerted it to software bugs in its products that could be exploited by malicious outsiders. Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter, among others, also have such programs. Unique among the giants, Apple appears to stand alone, claiming it sees no benefit in paying people to point out your flaws.
One reason may be Apple’s iconic reputation for making a safer, better-built computer. Indeed, for many years Apple computers had far fewer attacks than machines running Microsoft Windows, but experts said this had as much to do with the relative attraction of trying to find flaws in Windows, which had much more of the market. If you did find a flaw, there were more computers to exploit.
Now that Apple has a huge market presence, a robust underground market in selling knowledge of flaws in Apple software has sprung up. Apparently, flaws in the Safari browser are worth $100,000, and knowledge of iPhone issues can command 10 times as much.
That may become a new market that Mr. Cook will want to attack, dominate — and shut down.
Security flaws in Apple devices are prized by hackers.

Apple Policy on Bugs May Explain Why Hackers Would Help F.B.I. | Apple does not pay hackers to find and report bugs, which may explain why a third party has offered to help the government break into an iPhone.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: