Apple Sets New Record for Bug Bounty, Offering $2 Million Top Prize, Alongside $10 Million Grant for Cybersecurity Defense
Apple is unveiling a new security initiative aimed at protecting iPhone, iPad, and Mac users who may be targets of state-sponsored spyware campaigns like Pegasus, Predator, and Hermit.
Lockdown Mode, which will be available with iOS 16, iPad OS 16, and macOS Ventura in the autumn, will strengthen security measures on Apple devices to prevent the unauthorized access and monitoring of sensitive data.
This feature will provide “advanced, optional protection for a select group of users facing serious and targeted threats to their digital security.”
The notorious Pegasus spyware, created by the Israeli company NSO Group, has been found on the devices of high-profile individuals, including the late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Despite Apple’s efforts to release security patches, Pegasus still persists in infecting devices.
Recent reports indicate that government officials in the UK and El Salvador have also been targeted by spyware attacks, even years after the first instance of Pegasus was discovered.
“We are committed to protecting the small number of users who may fall victim to highly targeted cyberattacks,” tweeted Ivan Krstić, Apple’s Head of Security Engineering and Architecture. “I’m incredibly proud of the groundbreaking Lockdown Mode feature, among other measures.”