Security Firm Outbids Apple With $500,000 Bounty for iOS Flaws

Today's topics include Exodus Intelligence's offer of up to $500,000 for an iOS security flaw to outbid Apple's new bug bounty program, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise's discovery of two new security vulnerabilities in widely-used enterprise software components, Seagate's demonstration of a record-setting 60 TB solid-state drive and Microsoft's announcement that it will acquire Beam Interactive.

Among the biggest pieces of news to come out of the Black Hat USA conference last week was Apple's announcement of a new bug bounty program. As part of Apple's program, the top award for an iOS security flaw will be $200,000.

Yet, security firm Exodus Intelligence announced on Aug. 9 that it will outbid Apple for iOS security exploits. While Apple is offering a maximum of $200,000, Exodus Intelligence will pay up to $500,000 for an iOS vulnerability.

Exodus Intelligence was founded in 2012 with the promise of providing its customers with a cyber-security intelligence data feed that contains a detailed analysis of zero-day vulnerabilities.

There is a pair of newly-discovered security vulnerabilities in commonly used enterprise software technologies that could be exposing organizations to risks they aren't aware of, according to Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

One of the new vectors is a Java Naming and Directory Interface injection risk; the other is a Lightweight Directory Address Protocol entry poisoning risk.

JNDI is widely used by enterprises that have Java middleware servers for enterprise application deployment, while LDAP is commonly used to maintain a directory of user names and passwords.

The JNDI injection attack vector is an attack that in some respects is similar to a SQL injection (SQLi) attack against a database. In SQLi, which is a very common attack vector, unfiltered data queries are passed to a database, which can potentially then enable unauthorized access.

At the Flash Memory Summit Aug. 9, attendees were observed actually scratching their heads and wondering, "How is that possible?" The object of their incredulity was a monstrous 60TB solid-state hard drive introduced by Seagate Technology.

This is an astonishing leap in data storage capacity, from the previous record-capacity SSD—a 2.5-inch, 16TB unit released a year ago by Samsung that costs $7,000. Seagate said the drive, officially called the 60TB Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD, is the largest-capacity solid-state drive ever demonstrated.

The 2.5-inch SSD is currently in demonstration mode only. Production and distribution of the drive isn't expected until sometime in 2017, Seagate said.

Microsoft announced on Aug. 11 that it signed an agreement to acquire nearby live-streaming specialist Beam Interactive. Instead of passively observing gamers as they broadcast their exploits, the Beam platform offers visual controls that enable viewers to interact with the game world.

The Seattle-based company's software development kit allows developers to enable interactive streaming in their game titles with as little as 25 lines of code, according to Beam.

A real-time, HTML5-based streaming protocol pipes interactive game footage to web browsers and native apps for Android, iOS, Apple TV and Kindle. Microsoft didn't disclose the deal's financial terms.

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