Why Apple Will Pay Hackers Thousands of Dollars

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Apple will shell out thousands of dollars to researchers who discover and report critical bugs in its software, the company announced Thursday.

Hackers participating in the bug bounty program, which launches in September, could earn up to $200,000 depending on the type of vulnerability they find. Apple unveiled the program during the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Coders wishing to take part will need an invitation from Apple. The Cupertino, Calif. company is seeking only researchers who have previously disclosed security issues to the company. That said, Apple does plan to expand the program, and it won’t turn away new researchers with useful information.

Bug bounty programs are common among large technology companies, who pay so-called “white hat” hackers to find and report software vulnerabilities that could have been exploited by malicious actors. Google, Facebook, and Uber all have bug bounty initiatives of their own that can result in a hefty amount of cash for researchers. Google announced earlier this year that it had paid out $6 million in rewards to security researchers since 2010.

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