iPhone new update: Lockdown Mode is designed for those who may be targeted by spyware from the government, however anyone can benefit from it.
Apple is making steps to improve security for journalists or activists as well as politicians through a the introduction of a new feature on iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura that’s called Lockdown Mode. This setting bolsters an iPhone, iPad, or Mac’s defenses to disrupt methods that have been that compromise devices to carry out extremely targeted attacks.
Lockdown Mode blocks a variety of types of message attachments and disables previews of links, shuts off specific web browsing technology also blocks Invitations to and FaceTime phone calls coming from unidentified sources. and locks the wired connection to accessories or computers when devices are locked and blocks the ability to create new profiles to configuration or enroll to participate in the mobile device administration (MDM).
They are areas we are aware of as being vulnerable in the Google Project Zero team detailed the way that the iPhones of users affected with the Pegasus software might be affected in the case of a “zero-click” scenario, making use of the GIF to exploit iMessage within the background. Other attacks have targeted MDM systems or utilized malware-laden web pages to exploit weaknesses in rendering. Lockdown Mode closes those doors at the start.
Apple declares it to be an “extreme non-negotiable” degree of security that’s an explicit response to the increasing usage of state-sponsored mercenary tools such as the Pegasus tool created by the NSO Group. The software’s evidence has been discovered on the devices of journalists such as Jamal Khashoggi. As per Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, Apple just released iOS 16 Developer Beta 3 that includes Lockdown Mode.
In the past, Apple had been criticized for not cooperating with security researchers to discover and address flaws within its products as other tech giants prior to the launch of the iOS Bug bounty program in the year 2016. The program was later expanded to include different devices in 2019 and also announced that it would provide security research tools to other researchers.
Apple’s director for security architecture and engineering Ivan Krstic, “While the majority of our users will not become victim of cyberattacks that are highly targeted however, we will do our best to safeguard the tiny percentage of users that are. This includes continuing to develop security measures specifically for those users, and providing support to researchers and organizations around the globe who are doing crucial work to expose the mercenary corporations who create these cyberattacks.”
When it unveiled iOS 16 and macOS Ventura in WWDC 2022 which was held in June Apple stated that the new Rapid Security Response feature will allow patches for security flaws to be released quicker and will be applied to an Mac without needing reboot. iOS 16 and macOS Ventura will also include support for a new passkey technology that can help to in removing the need for passwords.
Some tech firms have also made similar efforts in different ways, such as Google’s Advanced Protection Program for accounts as well as it’s Super Duper Secure Mode that Microsoft has begun testing in Edge in the fall of last year. Smaller companies have tested providing devices that are hardened Android which promise to protect against a variety of vulnerabilities, however Lockdown Mode is a new level of security that will be made available to millions of users when it is launched with the latest software updates later this year.
Even with these security measures and protections, discovering flaws within the operating system that govern the majority of devices is a worthwhile endeavor and Apple declares it will double the reward to “qualifying results” within Lockdown Mode to $2 million that it claims is the highest amount for bounty in the field. Apple will also announce that any damages it receives in the fall lawsuit filed in the fall against NSO Group will be added to a grant of $10 million to organizations that “investigate the root of, expose and stop cyberattacks that are highly targeted such as those carried out by private firms that create state-sponsored malware that’s mercenary.”
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