Apple paid hacker $75,000 to hijack iPhone and Mac cameras

Apple awarded $75,000 to a hacker who located exploits that allowed him to hijack the cameras of iPhones and Macs.

Security researcher and former Amazon Web Services safety engineer Ryan Pickren disclosed at least seven zero-day vulnerabilities in Safari to Apple, in accordance to Forbes. Three of these vulnerabilities may additionally be used to hijack the cameras of iOS and macOS devices.

The take advantage of required victims to go to a malicious website, which should then get admission to their device’s digital camera if it had in the past depended on a video conferencing provider such as Zoom.

“A worm like this suggests why customers have to by no means experience absolutely assured that their digicam is secure,” Pickren instructed Forbes, “regardless of running machine or manufacturer.”

Pickren knowledgeable Apple about his discovery in mid-December 2019. Apple validated all seven vulnerabilities, and after a few weeks, launched a restore for the iOS and macOS digicam exploit. The safety researcher used to be then paid $75,000, which Pickren stated was once his first salary from the company.

Security researcher Sean Wright advised Forbes that the make the most that Pickren discovered, even if it required the sufferer to visit a malicious website, used to be “a very practicable structure of attack.” Wright brought that in contrast with the interest on webcams in computers, there has no longer been an awful lot focal point on the cameras and microphones of cell phones, which he stated is “a a ways greater probably route” for attackers if they choose to eavesdrop on their targets. 

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