Who wants to be a millionaire?

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Camden Cook, Contributor

In the last week apple has offered its largest reward ever for a seemingly simple and odd task. Anyone who is able to hack and take control of a wide variety of apple products will be rewarded with one million dollars in an attempt to improve the strength of its software to prevent major leaks in personal information. Many computer programmers have jumped at this opportunity to try and win their dream come true.

Apple has given smaller rewards in the past to people that were able to hack into an iPhone, but Apple offering one million dollars seems like too good of a reward to be able to hack one of their products. So what’s the purpose of this anyway? Very recently Capital One was hacked, and the hacker gained the ability to see the files of over 100 million people that were trying to apply for credit, and lost many supporters after such a large incident. In 2017, Equifax also was breached and will have to pay over 700 million dollars total to all those affected by it. In the past October, google plus was forced to be temporarily closed after they also discovered a back wall in their system exposing the information of 500,000 users. One million dollars dulls in comparison to all the money spent trying to repair the damages done by hackers. Now that apple has raised its reward, the hope is that those capable of causing these colossal security breaches will take the one million so that apple is able to prevent private information of its users from being exposed.

So how difficult is it to actually hack an iPhone? First the rules of the task must be known. Unlike most hacks and scams that most are familiar with, the hacker must find a “zero-click full chain kernel execution attack with persistence.” This means that there can be no actual work done by the real owner of the phone. That is correct. No emails. No downloads. No mysterious link that will ensure you millions of dollars. All the work must be done by the hacker and gain complete control over personal information. Scary, right? Now obviously it takes much skill and work to be able to corrupt Apple’s software that is highly impenetrable, but it can be done. In the past, those capable of gaining such large amounts of information would sell it to buyers on the black market for a high price, but most do not expect it to match the one million dollar reward that apple is offering. If this style of finding viruses by paying those capable to find the smallest holes in your software continues, we could be facing a future of much less data exposure, unless the black market raises it prices drastically.

Anyone who can hack into an iPhone is about to receive a giant check and simultaneously assist the company in improving its security system. Hopefully, there won’t be any reports of leaked information from the large tech companies any time soon.