Hacking a smartphone could be simply considered an act of mischief by some, but given the fact that almost every human on the planet relies on his or her communications and personal information to be part of the device, hacking a phone is actually more important than we thought. If we had to set that importance in numbers, it seems a company decided that it’s important enough to warrant a $1 million bounty.
Security startup Zerodium recently agreed to pay a bounty of one million U.S. dollars to any hacker team that would be capable of jailbreaking an iPhone remotely by tricking the user into visiting a carefully crafted web site. Zeordium has just announced that out of the two teams that began the challenge back in September, one of the teams was able to nail the goal on the October 31st deadline. Zerodium has an interesting set of customers, which even include governments, so if you’re asking yourself where the money came from, now you know. These sort of “zero day” attacks are crucial for any unsolicited surveillance to happen on a desired government target, and it seems that even with all of Apple’s patches, the right sum of money can get you the right hack with a little time and talent.
It’s hard to predict what Apple will do about this particular hack in order to protect its customers, but just keep an eye for any odd behavior on your phone. For the record, the hack was performed on iOS 9.1 and iOS 9.2 beta remotely, and then works untethered.