Apple Offers $1 Million to Anyone Who Can Break into iPhone
August 14, 2019
In this Sept. 20, 2013 file photo, a customer configures the fingerprint scanner technology built into the Apple iPhone 5S at an Apple store in Wangfujing shopping district in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
Apple says it will pay $1 million to any researcher who can successfully break into an iPhone. Other technology companies are also offering big payments for people to identify serious security threats in an effort to prevent major internet attacks.
A company official recently announced the new reward at a yearly security conference in Las Vegas.
The Black Hat conference is attended by many security researchers who attempt to hack the computer systems of companies and governments. The researchers seek security weaknesses that need to be fixed to prevent outside attackers from breaking into systems and devices.
Apple’s $1 million offer is thought to be the largest reward promised by a major technology company to defend against internet attacks. The announcement came from Apple’s Head of Security Engineering and Architecture, Ivan Krstic.
The new Apple iPhone XR is on display at the Steve Jobs Theater after an event to announce new products Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The $1 million reward will be paid to any researcher who meets Apple’s conditions for gaining full access to an iOS device without assistance from the owner, the website AppleInsiderreported.
Such a takeover of an iOS device has proven to be extremely difficult for hackers as well as law enforcement organizations.
The reward is a new part of Apple’s Feedback Assistant program. The program is a way for developers to send “bug reports” about programming problems and possible security threats.
Apple began offering money rewards of up to $200,000 in 2016 to researchers for high quality bug reports. During comments to the conference, Krstic said since that time, the company had received “over 50 useful reports,” PC Magazinereported.
In this Sept. 11, 2013, file photo, an Apple employee, right, instructs a journalist on the use of the fingerprint scanner technology built into the company's iPhone 5S during a media event in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
Other rewards include $500,000 for gaining “high-value user data” over a network without user involvement. A successful “user data extraction” could pay a researcher $250,000, while gaining basic access to a locked device could bring $100,000.
In addition to the larger top rewards, Apple also introduced other changes to the program. One difference is that the reward will be offered to all security researchers who wish to take part. In the past, the researchers were selected and invited by Apple.
In addition, rewards will now be paid to people identifying security issues with systems beyond iOS, related to the iPad, Apple Watch and iCloud.
Also at the Black Hat conference, Microsoft announced its own new program designed for researchers to test security. The program is called Azure Security Lab. With its launch, Microsoft also announced increases in its top rewards for bug reporting.
In this May 7, 2018, file photo Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks on during a video as he delivers the keynote address at Build, the company's annual conference for software developers in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
The company says the Azure Security Lab will give researchers the chance to create possible hacking incidents that could be attempted by criminal attackers in the real world. Tests are to be carried out in a controlled, secure environment without the possibility of causing real harm, Microsoft says.
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud services operation. The lab will permit researchers to look for security weaknesses and attempt to launch attacks on the system. The company says the lab will also offer specific challenges to researchers that will pay top rewards up to $300,000.
Microsoft said in a statement it had paid researchers a total of $4.4 million in rewards during the past year for identifying serious security issues.
The Google Home Hub, left, Pixel Slate, center, and two new smartphones are displayed in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Last month, Google announced it had paid researchers more than $5 million since 2010 “for finding and reporting security bugs that help keep our users safe.” The company said its rewards program had resulted in more than 8,500 individual bug reports.
In addition, Google announced large increases for the security reporting rewards it offers. The highest amount for basic reports received was tripled to $15,000, while payments for some “high quality” reports doubled to $30,000.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from Reuters, PC Magazine, Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Pay bills, clean the house... these are boring tasks we all have to do regularly even if we don't feel like it. They're part of what we call 'life admin'. Neil and Rob discuss what could make life admin tasks more interesting and teach you related vocabulary.
This week's question
The website Hotels.com commissioned some research about how much time young adults – that's millennials - spend doing life admin. Do you know what proportion of their free time they spend doing life admin tasks? Is it…
a) a quarter of a day
b) a third of a day
c) half a day?
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.
a chore a boring, ordinary task you do regularly
admin short for 'administration' – the activities and tasks you have to do to make a business, organisation or just your life, run smoothly
aka also known as
utility company a company that supplies something such as electricity, gas, or water to the public
procrastinate delay doing things until later, probably because you don't want to do them
super-doers an informal term to describe people who get satisfaction out of doing life admin and do lots of it
Note: This is not a word for word transcript
Neil Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil. And joining me it's Rob.
Neil Now Rob, would you say you're someone who is quite organised?
Rob I'd like to think so.
Neil What's the best way to organise everything?
Rob You need a 'to-do' list – a list of all the jobs you need to do that you can work your way through.
Neil That's a good idea and something we can include in today's discussion about life admin. Admin is short for administration – that describes the activities and tasks you have to do to make a business or organisation run smoothly – but life admin is administration you have to do to make your day-to-day life run smoothly – like doing housework, or paying a bill. And the first thing on my 'to-do' list is to ask you and the listeners, a question.
Rob Yes, you wouldn't want to forget that.
Neil So, the website Hotels.com commissioned some research about how much time young adults – that's millennials - spend doing life admin. Do you know what proportion of their free time they spend doing life admin tasks? Is it…
a) a quarter of a day
b) a third of a day
c) half a day?
Rob Based on my personal experience, I would say about a quarter of a day.
Neil Well, we'll see if you're the same as other people at the end of the programme. But as we all know, life admin is necessary but it can be a bit of a chore – a boring, ordinary task you do regularly.
Rob Experts have studied the subject and looked at how we do it and how we can make it less boring. One of them is Elizabeth Emens, Professor of Law at Columbia University and author of The Art of Life Admin.
Neil She's been speaking to the BBC Radio 4 programme, Woman's Hour, and described what she thought life admin is…
Elizabeth Emens, Professor of Law at Columbia University Life admin is the office work of life, it's the invisible layer of work that is the kind of thing that managers and secretaries, aka admins, do for pay in the office but that everyone does in their own lives for free.
Rob She calls life admin the invisible layer of work – so it's work, tasks or chores we carry out that people don't notice we're doing – or don't realise we have to do them it's extra work in our life.
Neil And we don't get paid for it – unless we're at work when it is the role of someone to do it – such as secretaries or aka admins – aka is short for 'also known as' – so secretaries might also be known as admins – that is short for people who do administration.
Rob Right, so we know life admin is boring and we don't get paid for it – and also, trying to renew your house insurance or trying to query a bill with a utility company can be frustrating and feels like a waste of time. A utility company by the way, is one that supplies something such as electricity, gas, or water to the public.
Neil My problem is I never get round to doing my life admin – there are better things to do – so you could say I procrastinate – I delay doing things until later, probably because I don't want to do them.
Rob You are what Elizabeth classifies as an 'admin avoider'. So this is where my to-do list comes in handy Neil. You have a written record of tasks that can be quite satisfying to cross off as you do them. But this is something Elizabeth Emens has found to work, at least for some people. Let's hear from her again. What type of people did she find get most satisfaction from completing a to-do list?
Elizabeth Emens, Professor of Law at Columbia University If you've ever made a list and put things on it you've already done, just to cross them out, then you know the kind of 'done it' pleasure that goes with that. But actually I interviewed people, especially the super-doers that I interviewed, actually can find real pleasure in the actual doing of it - so trying to understand how we can get to that when we have to do it - how we can make it so that there is some meaning in it and some texture and there're ways of doing it that please us.
Neil So she was describing the super-doers – these are the people who love admin and would spend an evening putting their book collection into alphabetical order!
Rob Elizabeth mentioned that we should learn from the super-doers and get some 'done it' pleasure in doing our life admin. We need to find a meaning for doing it – in other words, what is represents – so we can see the benefit of completing our to-do list.
Neil How we find pleasure from doing life admin is different for different people – so personally, I think I'll stick with being an 'admin avoider' – but that might explain why I just got charged extra for not paying my credit card bill on time!
Rob Well, please don't avoid giving us the answer to the quiz question you asked us earlier.
Neil Yes. Earlier I asked, researchers, commissioned by Hotels.com, polled 2,000 young professionals about their lives. How much of their free time do they spend doing life admin? Is it…
a) quarter of a day
b) a third of a day
c) half a day?
Rob And I said a) a quarter of a day.
Neil Yes, they spend a quarter of their days carrying out tasks like doctor’s appointments, waiting in for packages to be delivered and doing household chores. Boring!
Rob Unlike this programme Neil, which is not a chore – one of the words we discussed today.
Neil Yes, our vocabulary today included chore - a boring, ordinary task you do regularly.
Rob We also mentioned admin, short for administration – the activities and tasks you have to do make a business, organisation or just your life, run smoothly.
Neil We heard aka – meaning 'also known as' – so for example, Rob aka The master of 6 Minute English!
Rob Thanks very much Neil. Next we heard a utility company. That's a company that supplies something such as electricity, gas, or water to the public. And we also heard how Neil likes to procrastinate – that's delay doing things until later, probably because he doesn't want to do them.
Neil Finally, we mentioned super-doers – an informal term to describe people who get satisfaction out of doing life admin and do lots of it.
Rob Like me.
Neil Well, it's time to go now but there's plenty more to discover on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Goodbye for now.
Four major banks on Wednesday (August 14) cut their MRR (Minimum Retail Rate) by 0.25 percentage point, effective from Thursday (August 15), to help lower the financial costs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), increase their competitiveness and support the Thai economy.
The four banks were Kasikornbank (KBank), Krungthai Bank (KTB), Bangkok Bank (BBL) and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB).
But while KBank, KTB and BBL also cut the Minimum Overdraft Rate (MOR) by 0.25 percentage point, SCB will cut its MOR by 0.125 percentage point bringing its interest rate for MRR to 7.12 per cent and for MOR to 6.745 per cent. SCB's Minimum Loan Rate or MLR remains unchanged at 6.025 per cent.
BBL director and senior executive vice president Suvarn Thansathit said the bank’s reduction of 0.25 per cent in its MOR and MRR was aimed at helping business operators, especially SMEs, to lower their interest rate costs which contribute to business operation costs.
“Bangkok Bank is committed to assisting business operators to improve their business efficiency and competitiveness, which will help drive the economy in line with government policies”, Suvarn said.
The move by the banks was in line with the central bank’s decision on August 7 to reduce its policy rate from 1.75 to 1.50 per cent.
As of Wednesday, the two rates at KBank stood at 7.12 per cent.
KBank president Predee Daochai confirmed that the aim was to ease the burden on SMEs and retail clients.
KTB’s move to cut its rates by 0.25 percentage point brought its overall rate down to 6.87 per cent.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has assigned the Industry Ministry to cooperate with the Board of Investment (BOI) to hold a roadshow to beat other nations in attracting investors to Thailand, among other new measures designed to attract investors and particularly high technology firms.
Somkid said he has asked the ministry to work with the BOI to closely monitor companies that are considering shifting their production from China to Thailand, with a special focus on high-technology companies. The US-China trade war is reportedly having an effect on production in China, creating an opportunity to attract companies that are considering a shift to Asean countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
“The BOI need to facilitate and apply trade measures to attract investors to Thailand, especially a Bt10 billion fund to maximise our performance in competing for investments. That fund support will be Thailand’s strong point, even though the basic wage in Thailand is much higher than in Vietnam” Somkid said.
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) must also change its focus to build a particular industrial estate to support Thai SME business, especially within the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), he said. The private industrial estate companies, such as WHA and Amata, have a high potential which later could evolve into a smart city construction plan. However, the land price in EEC areas is too high to attract SME businesses, and so private estate companies should bend toward the international market or large industrial companies while IEAT supports Thai SME businesses, he said.
The Industry Ministry will also cooperate with the BOI to hold roadshows in an effort to attract investors, while promotional measures need to be adapted to match every category of industrial company and to specify the area of support, such as for bioindustrial companies. The government will set targets by province for attracting companies. If there is support all around, it might attract more investors to Thailand.
Following discussions with the US Charge d'Affaires, the Consul said that Thailand has played an outstanding role in encouraging countries in the Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy to sign a memorandum of understanding. The Consul would like to invite the Thai government to improve economic cooperation and regional investment to exercise restraint in trade with China, which has adopted the Belt and Road Initiative and with Japan which has extended The Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and is dominating the Asean economic market. Moreover, the US supports Thailand role as a medium for CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam) countries in growing trade and investment.
Speaking at a separate event, Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana urged the listed companies in the SET 50 to increase investment to shore up the sagging economy.
He added that as they are the key engine driving the country's economy, they should step out of their comfort zones to help the country.
Uttama said that the capital market should create new opportunities for investment to pave the way fo greater opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to raise funds.