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Apple broadcasts a brand new iPhone (and you may't have it) – jj

Apple broadcasts a brand new iPhone (and you may't have it)


Apple has announced a new iPhone for 2020, but it will only be made available to a select group of security researchers – along with huge bounties to anyone alerting the company to a new OS vulnerability.

Probably the world’s most exclusive iPhone

Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of security engineering, provided big insights into Apple’s platform security during his presentation at Black Hat U.S. 2019.

He promised much bigger bug bounties and an exclusive new ‘pre-jailbroken’ iPhone for selected security researchers that will be made available next year.

The Apple security chief explained that Apple is aware that lots of security professionals want to examine its devices, but that the high degree of protection makes it a time-consuming task.

The pre-jailbroken device lacks some of the layers of security Apple wraps around iPhones, so it is much easier for researchers to explore these systems for security weaknesses.

The iOS Security Research Device program

The device ships with ssh, a root shell and advanced debug capabilities and will be made available to invite-only members of Apple’s iOS Security Research Device program.

Anyone with a track record of high-quality systems security research on any platform can apply to join the program, though Apple will select who it invites.

Similar devices are widely used in Apple’s factories for testing and quality control, which has spawned a black market in them among security researchers, governments and others – they are often spirited out of factories for sale.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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