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Spyware: Apple Releases Lockdown Mode for iPhones, iPads, and Macs

In order to safeguard users from privacy-invading spyware like Pegasus, Apple has announced Lockdown mode, a new security feature. As the name suggests, the mode limits various features in a bid to improve the security of Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads running iOS 16 and Macs running macOS Ventura.

Apple Announces Lockdown Mode for iPhones iPads and Macs

How Does Apple’s Lockdown Mode Features Works?

Lockdown mode currently promises protections for messages, web browsing, wired connections, configuration profiles, and Apple services like FaceTime. Once enabled, the mode will block most message attachment types excluding images. You will also miss out on link previews on messages.

On the web browsing front, the feature disables “certain complex web technologies” including just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compilation. However, you will have the option to manually exclude your trusted websites. The security mode will also block wired connections with a computer or accessory when you have locked your iPhone.

Also included is the protection against incoming invitations and service requests in Apple services including FaceTime calls. The mode automatically blocks call invites if you have not interacted with the person before. You also can’t install configuration profiles or enroll into mobile device management (MDM) in Lockdown mode.

“Lockdown Mode offers an extreme, optional level of security for the very few users who, because of who they are or what they do, may be personally targeted by some of the most sophisticated digital threats, such as those from NSO Group and other private companies developing state-sponsored mercenary spyware,” wrote Apple in its press release.

Lockdown mode is coming this fall with iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura to iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Apple aims to introduce more protections to the mode in the future. The Cupertino giant has also launched a new security bounty program with up to $2,000,000 rewards for researchers who manage to bypass Lockdown mode.

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