Being able to breach the encryptions that Apple Inc. places on its tech goes for a tremendous price on the black market. The iPhone maker broke into 2016 wrapped up in a privacy scandal where it opposed the FBI. Realizing that Apple would not give into their demands, the U.S. government turned to spending around $1 million in order to access the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.
The FBI succeeded at this and swept the rug from right under Apple’s feet. However, the company still recognizes the event as a victory. To the Cupertino firm, the steep prices that iPhone hacks go for say a lot about its security.
Apple hacks are more expensive
“As probably most of you know, there is a black market for software vulnerabilities,” reports Ivan Krstic. He stands as Apple Inc.’s lead in architecture and security engineering. “Once in a while some of the prices on the black market become known.”
James Comey, an FBI director, cited the money spent by the Bureau on hiring third-parties to hack Apple’s encryption this year to be at least $1.3 million.
Prices for breaking the encryption of other tech firms are not normally as steep as iOS cracks. For software like Windows and Android, “usually these prices are tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes even $100,000.” Kristic explains.
Two years ago, a way to exploit a key iPhone vulnerability was sold for $500,000. The report was covered by New York Times. More reports have emerged since then proving that the price of an iPhone security break floats around the $1 million mark.
Apple Inc. does not seem fazed by this though and insists that it verifies the intensity of its security. Its encryptions are a far more unique and therefore difficult to hack. Their rarity, as well as the enormous effort that is needed to hack them, makes iOS breaches black gold of the underground market.
Is the Apple iPhone the better security provider?
Apple takes pride in its security. The U.S. tech giant says that it sees security as a design philosophy and instills it in every aspect of its software. The heavy cost of an iPhone hack is a bit of an achievement for Apple.
Krstic explains: “What you are seeing now is the result of a decade of our best work in protecting our users.”
The iPhone maker publicly claimed to the most secure tech company in the world back in April. At the WWDC a few weeks ago, Krstic told developers that the no virus or malware has been on iOS in 9 years.
The lead security and architecture engineer says the hefty bounties placed of iOS exploitation seems normal except when compared to other tech firms. Those lower prices hint at the simplicity of the software of its peers. Apple Inc.’s security assurances trump those of its rivals.