Apple has announced a new feature that will offer additional security to a group of people deemed to be at risk of ‘highly targeted attacks’. The ‘Lockdown mode’ feature can be activated by all users, but the company has developed it with the intention of offering protection to private companies, journalists, activists and government employees who may be at risk of state-sponsored attacks.
“Lockdown Mode is a groundbreaking capability that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users from even the rarest, most sophisticated attacks. 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.” Security Engineering and Architecture at Apple said.
The feature will be available in the third beta version of iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura which will be released today. The feature, which is tucked in the Privacy and Security section in ‘settings’ is turned off by default. Users will be required to restart their devices to turn the feature on or off any time.”
The company says the features affected will include messages, Facetime, web browsing, shared photos and device connections.
Lockdown mode will work by deactivating message attachments and link previews to restrict communication. Additionally, it will prevent advanced web technologies from being used while online. All inbound communications will be disabled unless prompted by the user for Apple services like FaceTime. Finally, when devices are locked, Lockdown mode will prevent configuration of profiles and wired connections. The measures might seem extreme, but they are aimed at combatting any attacks or exploits from malicious or sophisticated cybercriminals.