A new startup is offering up to $3 million dollars for tools to hack into Android and iOS devices, the highest public price offered for such tools.
The startup is called Crowdfense and is based in the United Arab Emirates. In an unusual move in the normally secretive industry of so-called zero-days, Crowdfense sent out a press release to reporters on Tuesday, advertising what it calls a bug bounty.
Zero-day exploits are bugs or vulnerabilities that are unknown to the developers, in this case Google, Apple, or Microsoft. This allows companies such as Crowdfense to use the hole for their own personal advantage, such as developing tools to root your device.
The company is only interested in macOS, iOS, Android and Windows exploits specifically and is not interested in exploits for IoT devices, telecom, critical infrastructure or social media.
Crowdfense is trying to do things in different ways, “with the maximum possible transparency,” he said. Zapparoli said he doesn’t want to repeat the same mistakes that other companies in this industry did in the past, and specifically mentioned Hacking Team, an Italian vendor of spyware that’s infamous for selling hacking and surveillance tools to oppressive governments.