Apple’s Upcoming Operating Systems Will Feature an Ultra-Secure Lock Mode

Apple has announced that the upcoming iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura will include Lockdown Mode, an optional protection designed for those facing serious threats to their digital security. Fortunately, most people will never need to use it, but for those who do, it will make Apple products indispensable tools.

According to the company, lockdown mode was created with certain people in mind who are targeted by advanced attacks created by groups such as NSO Group and other private companies working on state-sponsored malware. Once enabled, lockdown mode will provide the following protections:

  • Messages: Most types of message attachments other than pictures are blocked. Some features, such as link previews, are disabled.
  • Web browsing: Certain complex web technologies, such as just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compilation, are disabled unless the user excludes a trusted site from lockdown mode.
  • Apple Services: Incoming invitations and service requests, including FaceTime calls, are blocked if the user has not already sent a call or request to the initiator.
  • Wired connections to a computer or accessory are blocked when iPhone is locked.
  • Configuration profiles cannot be installed and the device cannot enroll in mobile device management (MDM) when lockdown mode is enabled.

Over time, Apple will continue to strengthen lockdown mode and actively seek feedback from the security community. The Apple Security Bounty program now has a new section for researchers looking for lockdown mode vulnerabilities and all bounties are doubled – that means you can earn up to $2,000,000 for finding the most serious vulnerabilities.

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