LAS VEGAS (CBS / AP) — Apple says it will start offering cash rewards of up to $200,000 to hackers who come forward with information about security flaws in the company’s software.

The iPhone maker is joining other big tech companies that offer so-called “bug bounties” to people who discover vulnerabilities in their computer code. The goal is to encourage individuals to come forward so the company can fix the problem – and to discourage hackers from exploiting the flaw or selling the information to others.

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Google, Facebook and others have long offered such rewards. To start, Apple says it will offer rewards to a limited number of researchers it has worked with before, but it may expand the program.

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Apple announced the program at a computer security conference in Las Vegas.

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