Tech

Apple is betting big on protecting targeted individuals from spyware attacks with lockdown mode

Security is an area many companies are focusing on, especially at a time when targeted attacks have become common. Apple is no exception – perhaps a leader in the field – and now it’s bringing a new lock mode to protect its users from spyware attacks.

It’s not for everyone, however. The lockdown mode is said to add an extra layer of protection for individuals such as journalists, politicians, human rights activists and other targeted individuals. Coming this fall, lockdown mode will protect them from infiltration and ensure cyberattacks are thwarted.

According to Apple, Lockdown Mode – which the company calls “the first major capability of its kind” – is “extreme optional protection” for those who may face sophisticated digital threats, due to “who or what they are”. that they make “. Once the feature arrives, they can enable it, provided their devices are capable of running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. These are the latest operating systems from Apple which are due out later this year.

This begs the question: how will lockdown mode protect individuals? It will do this by limiting the methods that have been used to compromise devices and cyberattacks, i.e. disabling certain features. Going forward, the tech giant will continue to strengthen the lock mode and add new protections to it.

These features include disabling link previews and blocking most types of message attachments other than images – the latter comes after it was believed that the NSO Group (which was behind the spyware Pegasus) exploited a flaw in the way Apple handled message attachments.

Other features to disable include just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compilation and incoming FaceTime call requests if the user hasn’t called the initiator or sent them a request. Additionally, wired connections to a computer or accessory are blocked when the device is locked, and the user cannot install configuration profiles or enroll the device in mobile device management (MDM).

“Apple makes the most secure mobile devices on the market. Lockdown mode is a breakthrough capability that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users against the rarest and most sophisticated attacks,” said Ivan Krstić, head of engineering and security architecture at Apple.

“While the vast majority of users will never fall victim to highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are,” he added.

If that’s not a strong enough response to the rise in the use of state-sponsored mercenary software like NSO Group’s Pegasus, Apple has decided to double the bounty for “qualifying results” in lockdown mode until to a maximum of $2 million. The amount will be awarded to researchers who find workarounds to lockdown mode and help improve its protections.

It will also support organizations that investigate, expose and prevent highly targeted spyware attacks with a $10 million grant to the Dignity and Justice Fund, in addition to damages awarded in the lawsuit filed against NSO Group.

Apple is betting big on protecting targeted individuals from spyware attacks with lockdown mode

Source link Apple is betting big on protecting targeted individuals from spyware attacks with lockdown mode

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