Highlights

  • Lockdown Mode coming to iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura
  • To protect against spyware and malware
  • Can be optionally activated

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Apple’s new security-focused Lockdown Mode explained

Apple devices will get the high-security Lockdown Mode in Autumn 2022.

The new Lockdown Mode by Apple is designed to safeguard customers who may be personally targeted by some of the most sophisticated malware and spyware.

It is arriving this fall with iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Lockdown Mode provides an optional, extreme level of security for the very few users who, because of who they are or what they do, can be personally targeted by the most sophisticated digital threats.

Activating Lockdown Mode on Apple devices is claimed to significantly strengthen device defences and severely restrict specific features. Hence, it drastically decreases the attack surface that may be exploited by highly tailored malware.

Apple Lockdown Mode features

  • Other than photos, the majority of message attachment formats are banned. Certain functions, such as link previews, are disabled.
  • Certain complicated web technologies, such as just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compilation, are blocked unless the user specifically excludes a site from Lockdown Mode.
  • Incoming invites and service requests, including FaceTime calls, are denied if the user has not initiated a call or request with the initiator.
  • When an iPhone is locked, wired connections with a computer or device are disabled.
  • While Lockdown Mode is enabled, configuration profiles cannot be deployed and the device cannot enrol in mobile device management (MDM).

Apple has also added a new category to its Apple Security Bounty programme to reward researchers who discover Lockdown Mode bypasses and assist enhance the mode's security.

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