The Chinese tech company hosted an invite-only event in Munich, Germany, where they offered hackers a large sum of money to find security weaknesses in its android phones.
Anyone looking to get their hands on the money will have a difficult job. The top reward is only available to hackers who manage to gain remote access to a device without a user having to click on anything.
Details of the event (and rewards) were revealed by researcher and exploit dev Azeria, who was one of the select few in attendance on 16 November.
Sadly, you can’t get the money by hacking into phones willy-nilly. Have-a-go hackers need to make sure they’ve gained an exclusive invite (either from Huawei or one of the chosen few invitees at the event) before they start fiddling around doing illegal things to their mate’s P30 Pro. Otherwise you could get into serious trouble or, more importantly, miss out on the cash.
This challenge is an interesting move from Huawei for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, because it follows in the footsteps of other mobile giants who also offer sizeable bug bounties.
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Google offers everything from $100 for ‘valid security vulnerabilities’ found in lower priority apps to $100,000 for issues found with Google Cloud. The company’s top prize is $200,000 for a critical security issue found in Pixel phones, which means Huawei is actually offering a little more dollar for fairly similar work. Apple, meanwhile, offers a dizzying $1 million for anyone able to find a specific iPhone hack.
It’s also interesting because this invite-only event comes amid the US-based furore surrounding Huawei. Back in May, the Trump administration blacklisted the company, claiming it posed a threat to national security. The company’s future in the US is still uncertain, but this new challenge could show that Huawei is ready and willing to work on any security issues.