Apple has always emphasised the security and privacy features of their products, but their latest feature really does seem to take it to a whole new level. Dubbed as the ‘Lockdown Mode’, it’s an extreme, optional protection for those who face ‘grave, targeted threats’ to their digital security.
Lockdown Mode will be coming to their iPhones, iPads and Mac devices once iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura becomes available in the coming months. Once turned on on your device, it will bring an extreme level of security to those who—because of who they are or what they do—are being targeted by sophisticated digital threats, such as from the NSO Group and other state-sponsored mercenary spyware. It increases device security by severely limiting functionalities to prevent any spyware from exploiting it. That being said, anyone who wants to increase their digital security can use Lockdown Mode anyway.
Specifically, Lockdown Mode at launch will block most message attachment types other than images, with link previews also being disabled. Incoming invitations and service requests, which includes FaceTime, will be blocked on your device if you’ve previously not contacted the person calling you. Lockdown Mode blocks wired connections to a computer when your iPhone is locked too.
“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.
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,” – Ivan Krstić, Apple Head of Security Engineering and Architecture
As part of its goal to strengthen Lockdown Mode over time, Apple has established a new category in its Apple Security Bounty program. This new category will cover Lockdown Mode bypasses specifically, and anyone who finds any notable issues with Lockdown Mode can get bounties of up to USD2,000,000 from Apple, making it the highest maximum bounty payout in the industry. You can read more about its Lockdown Mode and Apple Security Bounty program here.