Kate-Lynne Wolmarans26 Apr 2018 AT 01:55 PM

A Dubai start-up is offering US$3 million to anyone who can hack the iPhone

We're not kidding
Kate-Lynne Wolmarans26 Apr 2018 AT 01:55 PM
A Dubai start-up is offering US$3 million to anyone who can hack the iPhone
© Shutterstock

If you consider yourself a bit of tech whizz, you might want to give Crowdfense's challenge a go. 

The Dubai-based start-up is offering anyone who can ethically hack Android, iOS, Windows and Mac devices up to US$3 million. 

As the word "ethically" suggests, the challenge serves a greater good. If forms part of a US$10 million program that aims to develop the cyber-defence capabilities of popular software.

The move is the first public programme of its kind to offer such a big cash prize.

If you're wondering what ethical hacking is, here's what you need to know. Ethical hacking, or ‘zero-day’ exploits, uses tools that leverage bugs found in computer systems which are usually unknown to system developers. The aim is to improve security by identifying them and developing stronger systems.

"We work only with the best vulnerability researchers, focusing on very select capabilities with a highly structured and scientific approach," explains Crowdfense director, Andrea Zapparoli Manzoni.

Adding: "Now that this originally underground practice has become a strategic high-tech industry, it is necessary to implement good business processes, checks and guarantees for all the parties involved. That is why we built Crowdfense: the market needed a neutral, reliable, law-abiding, process-driven partner to deliver top-quality active cyber-defense capabilities."

The challenge comes just days after car-hailing app, Careem announced that its system had been hacked this past January.

The attack on the Dubai based app resulted in the theft of personal data of up to 14 million people in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey. 

As a result, Careem has urged all of its users to change their passwords and has ensured all of its cutomers and drivers that there has been "no evidence of fraud or misuse related to the incident."

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