Apple's new feature adds 'extreme' protection to your devices2022-07-06 17:22 by Daniela
Tags: Apple, Lockdown Mode
Today, Apple is announcing a new feature for its upcoming iOS 16 release called Lockdown Mode. Apple emphasizes that the feature was created for a small subset of users who are at high risk of government targeting, and it doesn't expect the feature to be widely adopted. But for those who want to use it, the feature is an alternate mode of iOS that heavily restricts the tools and services that spyware actors target to take control of victims' devices.
Apple says the idea of Lockdown Mode feels foreign because iOS has always been developed to offer all security protections to every user. But the company saw the necessity to take drastic action as more and more spyware victims emerged worldwide. The company says it plans to continue refining Lockdown Mode and expanding it as needed. It also added a new category to its bug bounty program to reward researchers up to $2 million for finding flaws in Lockdown Mode or total bypasses.
"Apple makes the most secure mobile devices on the market. Lockdown Mode is a groundbreaking capability that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users from even the rarest, most sophisticated attacks," said Ivan Krstic, Apple's head of Security Engineering and Architecture. "While the vast majority of users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are. That includes continuing to design defenses specifically for these users, as well as supporting researchers and organizations around the world doing critically important work in exposing mercenary companies that create these digital attacks."
Lockdown Mode is enabled in the third beta versions of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura released today, and the feature will be available to all users when the software updates are released later this year. While the feature is aimed at users who are targets of cyberattacks, it appears that it can be enabled by any user.
Lockdown Mode is turned off by default and can be enabled in the Privacy & Security section of the Settings or System Settings app. After being turned on, Lockdown Mode can be turned off at any time in the same section of the Settings app. Enabling or disabling Lockdown Mode requires restarting the device and entering the device's passcode.
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