Apple has launched the 2024 Security Research Device Program (SRDP) [1] [7] [9], aimed at enhancing iPhone security by identifying critical vulnerabilities within the iOS ecosystem [8]. This program [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9], which has been in operation since 2019, enables security researchers to collaborate directly with Apple in uncovering vulnerabilities in the iOS system. Participants are provided with specialized iPhone 14 Pro research devices dedicated to security research. Since its inception, the program has resulted in the discovery of 130 high-impact security vulnerabilities [9], leading to improvements across various areas of the iOS system. Apple has awarded over $500,000 for the vulnerabilities discovered on the Security Research Devices [4].


The Security Research Device is a specially fused iPhone that allows for iOS security research without compromising its security features [4]. It grants researchers shell access, the ability to run any tools [4], customize the kernel [4], and more [2] [4]. Researchers interested in participating in the 2024 program have until October 31, 2023 [4], to apply [5] [6]. Apple selects a limited number of researchers each year [3], and successful applicants will be notified in early 2024 [6] [9]. If approved [6], they will receive an SRD as a 12-month renewable loan [6], with the device remaining the property of Apple [6]. The program [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9], known as the iPhone Security Research Device Program [2] [5] [7] [8] [9], enables researchers to test the latest iPhone 14 Pro for vulnerabilities [7]. Any vulnerabilities discovered will be considered for the Apple Security Bounty and rewarded accordingly [7]. The program is open for applications until October 31st [7], and selected researchers will collaborate with Apple’s security teams to safeguard users [7]. The iPhone 14 Pro provided in the program has disabled security features and allows for customization of the kernel [7]. The device is only to be handled by authorized testers in their research facility [7]. Apple is also extending the program’s benefits to educators at the university level [8], providing them with specialized devices as teaching tools [8].


The Security Research Device Program has proven to be highly impactful, with the discovery of 130 significant security vulnerabilities contributing to the enhancement of the iOS system. By collaborating with security researchers, Apple is actively working towards strengthening iPhone security and protecting users. The program’s extension to educators at the university level further promotes knowledge sharing and the development of future security professionals. As the program continues, it is expected to yield further improvements in iOS security, ensuring a safer user experience for Apple customers.