Lockdown Mode: Apple announces feature to protect devices from spyware attacks
Apple's unveiling of Lockdown Mode is an admission that it failed to protect its devices from breaches by state-sponsored hackers. Spyware has been used by governments to monitor human rights activists, journalists, and opposition leaders.
Apple will unveil a new feature for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac operating systems that will safeguard high-risk users against sophisticated malware related to human rights violations. With the push of a button, anybody will be able to effectively isolate sections of their iPhone and other Apple devices from assaults such as unwanted FaceTime calls and email attachments.
It is one of the most significant efforts taken by a major technology corporation to tackle the spyware sector, whose products may break into devices without the victim having to click on anything.
Apple's unveiling of Lockdown Mode is an admission that it failed to protect its devices from breaches by state-sponsored hackers. Spyware has been used by governments to monitor human rights activists, journalists, and opposition leaders. Apple consumers have lately been subjected to a slew of security flaws, the most of which have been ascribed to the Israel-based NSO Group.
Apple also acknowledges that malware developers would most certainly try to discover methods around the Lockdown Mode. To compensate for this, Apple has stated that it will pay security experts up to $2 million if they report flaws in the feature.
The Lockdown Mode will include the following safeguards upon launch:
Messages: Other than photos, most message attachment types will be blocked under Lockdown Mode. Some functionality, such as link previews, will be disabled.
Incoming invites and service requests, including FaceTime calls, will be prohibited if the user has not already given the initiator a call or request.
The Lockdown Mode, on the other hand, has significant drawbacks. Device owners will be unable to use some capabilities, such as physically connecting to other computers when the device is locked, or enrol in the mobile device management programme used by some companies for work phones.
There are over a billion iPhones in use worldwide; the new function is intended for a small percentage of those who have been targeted by spyware. Apple does not indicate how many consumers were targeted by malware. It did, however, state that it has informed clients in 150 countries that they may have been targeted.
"Apple makes the most secure mobile devices on the market. Lockdown Mode is a game-changing feature that demonstrates our ongoing commitment to safeguarding consumers from even the most uncommon and sophisticated assaults," said Ivan Krsti, Apple's head of Security Engineering and Architecture.