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  • An ethical hacker breached Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, and other firms with a new exploit he found.
  • Alex Birsan was awarded over $130,000 in bug bounties after disclosing the hacks.
  • There are ways companies can configure their code to minimize this kind of risk, experts say.

An ethical hacker discovered an astonishingly simple tactic that let him breach Apple, Microsoft, Paypal, Tesla, and more than 30 other companies in recent months.

Alex Birsan, who published a blog post on his research on Tuesday, has been paid more than $130,000 in bug bounties from companies that he targeted. 

While the affected firms were able to patch the vulnerabilities to prevent similar attacks after Birsan disclosed them, his findings could have long-lasting implications for how companies use open-source repositories, experts said, while sharing techniques for minimizing risk. 

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