Apple offers record 'bounty' to researchers who find iPhone security flaws

Contacts on iPhones vulnerable to hack attack Report

Contacts on iPhones vulnerable to hack attack Report

While it could be argued that Apple is concerned that iPhone users might install low quality batteries in their handsets, the more cynical response would be that the company is trying to scare people into buying more expensive batteries direct from Apple rather than a third party.

Instead of a battery diagnostic page which details health and whether the battery needs to be replaced, altered phones display a "Service" message. Hence, this is a way for Apple to catch in on the demands of the market.

This error message pops up as soon as you replace the battery, even if it's a genuine one.

iFixit compared the practice to having a "Check Oil" light in a vehicle that can only be deactivated at a Ford dealership.

IFixit says this software effectively cripples third-party fix businesses, forcing customers to have their devices repaired or refurbished - often at a much higher cost - by Apple itself.

And those with Apple Care are already paying between $10 to $15 per month to have their phones covered by the company's insurance.

Rival Google started its own bug bounty scheme way back in 2010, while several other major technology companies also offer financial rewards. You can't make this message disappear unless you get battery replacement done at an Apple Authorised Service Provider or Apple Genius Bar.

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As Maor Shwartz told Forbes, the price of a single exploit (a program that uses vulnerabilities generally to take control of a computer or phone) will fetch as much as $1.5 million. Apple's latest batteries also include an authentication module, which saves data useful for pairing the cell with an iPhone's logic board, according to a recent video by TheArtofRepair. Unlike the units sold to consumers, these will allow researchers to access parts of iOS that are off-limits to most users. The last level of bounty offered by Apple was $200,000.

Even using another Apple battery doesn't work, adds iFixit, as a replacement battery can only be authenticated using the company's private tools.

Justin from The Art of Repair YouTube channel was the first to discover this phenomenon.

This new move by Apple is applaudable and can be considered a strategy for preventing Apple devices from being used for crime and other unacceptable reasons.

In addition to these payouts, Apple is also offering a 50% bonus for bugs reported in pre-release builds.

The battery locking function appears to affect the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max running either iOS 12 or the iOS 13 beta. "An Apple Authorized Service Provider can service the battery".

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