It’s pay day for a researcher who recently discovered a huge loophole in Apple’s iPhone cameras. He is being paid $75,000 for finding out that an iOS and MacOS camera issue allowed hackers to take over both the camera and microphone in iPhones and Macs, and could spy on the user.
Ryan Pickren is the man we can all thank, after he discovered the fault back in mid-December. A security researcher and "white hat hacker," his discovery began a three month long process during which Apple confirmed the issue and sought to rectify it.
As per WIRED, there were three bugs relating to Safari, Apple’s default internet browser. The bugs allowed any hacker to use Safari to gain access to the microphone and camera of a user’s device – all it took was clicking one nasty link. From here, the link could fool Safari into believing it had been granted permission to access the device’s camera and microphone, dodging Apple’s security system. Pickren described the effort of his hack as “wiggling around” until he found a way that “confused” Safari and slipped past the security.
Thankfully, Pickren chose to report the issue to Apple. For his efforts, he received what the tech giant called a “bug bounty” of $75,000 — small change for a company of that magnitude. The glitch was fixed throughout January and March, before the news was revealed to the public. Probably a good time to make sure your devices are up to date!