Jailbroken iPhones are developed and sold by Apple

As part of the latest Security Testing Device Initiative, Apple has started to give independent security researchers legitimately jailbroken versions of iPhones.

Apple is beginning to give security researchers iPhones:

As part of the Security Testing Device Program (SRDP), Apple distributes specially configured iPhones aimed at finding bugs in the mobile ‘stuffing’ apps. Macrumors announced that the organization started shipping legally “hacked” computers to the early adopters of the software, independent security researchers, beginning December 22, 2020.

The iPhones obtained by experts are what Apple terms “Security Research Devices” (SRD). Open access to the root segment is what separates them from the firm’s ordinary smartphones. Privileged access simplifies review of elements of the operating system when searching for bugs.

Previously, this access level to the iPhone “stuffing” program could only be achieved through an action dubbed “jailbreak” (Jailbreak, “jailbreak”). Jailbreak is not formally supported by Apple: jailbroken computers are stripped of warranty service and technical assistance privileges.

Apple can provide program participants with debugging resources, access to internal documents and a platform for contact with business experts, in addition to a smartphone with an official jailbreak.

Apple has revealed its intentions for the first time to begin the Protection Testing System Program in July 2020. The first stage of the selection of applicants to enroll in the program was concluded on August 24. As the number of SRDs is restricted, according to the official website of the program, those who did not get the device this time will be eligible to apply for it at the next level of consideration of applications in 2021.

Terms for the Security Research System Software
For 12 months, SRDs are given to researchers. The system must be returned to Apple after this date, although it is possible, in cooperation with the company, to prolong the period of use.

For future SRDP members, there are a set of criteria. In specific, the candidate must be of legal age and registered in the Apple Developer Program, and must have a track record of successfully finding bugs in Apple ecosystem apps or other modern platforms. In comparison, existing Apple staff or those who left at the time of the submission less than a year earlier are not able to apply.

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA are ready to send devices to the testers only from a comparatively small list of nations.

Judging from the details reported on the official Apple website, the Russians are actually unable to register to compete in the SRDP.

Devices obtained are only licensed to be used for their intended purpose, that is, for vulnerability checking. Under the provisions of the software, sharing the changed iPhone with others or bringing it outside the workspace of the investigator is also forbidden.

Benefits for adults in the initiative
The researchers were promised a cash incentive, which is compensated by the Apple Security Bounty scheme, for detecting errors in the company’s applications. Its size can exceed 1.5 million dollars.

A initiative to reward security researchers for finding flaws in the Apple Security Bounty was introduced by the Cupertino-based firm in 2016. The estimated fee for its members was originally limited to $200,000.

As a result, a lawsuit was brought against the corporation by the US Department of Justice. The FBI hacked the terrorist’s smartphone without the support of Apple for a while, and the case was dropped. The methods for hacking were not revealed. It is known, however, that an outside hacker was recruited by the bureau to hack an iPhone 5C protected by a four-digit password. His fee, probably, was about $1 million. It is likely that this incident inspired Apple to start a bounty scheme for high stakes.