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He receives more than 100,000 dollars after alerting Apple about a flaw

Ramiro Guzman
4 min read
He receives more than 100,000 dollars after alerting Apple about a flaw
A cyber student receives more than $100,000 USD for finding a bug in an Apple component

Apple is known worldwide as the most iconic and popular brand in technology. Although it is normal for it to be a trend for its devices, also for this type of news.

At the beginning of weeks, the news was released that he paid $100,500 USD to a student in cybernetics. The reason? Helped identify and fix a major issue with a specific component.

Ryan Pickren — Awarded $100,500 USD from Apple

Pickren is one of the most able students enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Specifically, he develops within the computer engineering career, shortly after graduating from said house of studies.

He is listed as a brilliant mind in computing and cybernetics, participating in particular projects.

In essence, they are about "legally hacking" important computer systems under the supervision of the US Government or reputable companies.

In this way, it helps to investigate possible programming errors or vulnerabilities that affect digital security schemes. Hand in hand with his knowledge, he has reinforced countless proposals, among which some from Apple stand out.

He receives more than 100,000 dollars after alerting Apple about a flaw
Apple errors are more frequent than it seems, needing the help of these types of people

Earlier this week, Pickren reported a significant flaw in the webcam of Mac devices. Through a protocol he implemented, he managed to access it remotely and without authorized access.

If this panorama was known in depth in everyday life, it would open the door wide for hackers. With a simple unauthorized opening of the component in question, all the user's personal data was exposed.

Fortunately Apple found and solved the situation

Although there is no official statement, Pickren took it upon himself to call for calm. He reported that Apple found the error and quickly got to work to fix the possible data leak.

According to the opinion of the experienced Georgia Tech student, the unauthorized access to the camera involved iCloud Sharing and the Safari browser.

He explained that the distinguished error not only provides direct remote access to the camera, but also to important platforms such as PayPal, Facebook or even Gmail. In conclusion, all those relevant or personal data that the user handles day by day.

In short, he also stressed that the flaw stems from Safari's "webarchive" protocol. A computer path that saves or stores packets of data from the sites visited by the user as they navigate through the application.

It should be noted that some browsers, such as Safari, download arbitrary files without prior notification. Although they are harmless, many of them can be malicious or lead to this type of computer problem.

He receives more than 100,000 dollars after alerting Apple about a flaw
Safari adopts a new security scheme thanks to Pickren's actions

Taking advantage of the help of Pickren, the new version of the search engine (Safari 13+) now YES warns precisely of such a peculiarity. Therefore, you will be more cautious and with a greater background of what is openly consumed on the Internet.

Apple's Curious Bug Bounty Program

For some time now, Apple has launched a bounty program for reporting bugs in its components and operating system.

In addition to being an incentive for the community, it is also a turning point for further progress in cybersecurity.

It is an initiative in which it provides payments that range and exceed the figure of $100,000 USD depending on the seriousness of the matter.

In retrospect, it is also classified as a "legal job" to hack the company's computer protocols.

In fact, there is evidence that the methodology proposes amounts that are close to or reach one million dollars. Obviously, everything is explicit in a list of priorities to be fulfilled by the same company.

In addition to certain conditions, the reward is paid when attacks that promote unauthorized data access are successfully carried out. It means, everything that is closely linked to contacts, email, instant messaging, user accounts, photos and more.

It's not the first time for Ryan Pickren

In April 2020, Pickren was trending for hacking an Apple webcam, but this time on iPhone. In a matter of a short time, he addressed up to 7 exorbitant vulnerabilities that smartphones possessed at the time.

The news went around the world, promulgating that, through certain methods, the iPhones camera was "potentially hijackable". Time later, delving deeper into the milestone, it was discovered that any device with iOS was capable of suffering the same "fate".

As if that were not enough, the functions of the microphone were equally affected. Before the diatribe, the Apple rewards program paid a sum that was around 75 thousand dollars approximately. A smaller amount than now, but just as beneficial for Pickren's aspirations.