Apple Securities to Improve with Lockdown Mode and macOS Venture

Security has been an issue for many people as spyware has become more rampant in the digital age, and Apple is taking measures against cyberattacks. 

Apple revealed two initiatives to protect users by introducing the Lockdown Mode and macOS Venture.

The Lockdown Mode is the first capability of its kind and will be released in the fall alongside the iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. The new feature includes protections like:

  • Blocking message attachment types, including link previews
  • Disabling complex web technology unless the user excludes a site from Lockdown Mode
  • Invitations and service requests like FaceTime calls are blocked unless the user sent a call or made a request
  • Wire connections with computers or accessories will be blocked when the iPhone is locked
  • iPhones won’t be able to enroll into mobile device management when Lockdown Mode is on, and configuration profiles can’t be installed

The macOS Venture is optional protection meant to help users facing grave threats. macOS Ventura strengthens device defenses, limiting certain functionalities and reducing the attack surface that could potentially be exploited by mercenary spyware.

“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,” said the head of Security Engineering and Architecture at Apple, Ivan Krstic.

“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.”

Apple will continue strengthening Lockdown Mode and adding new protections over time. The company has also established a new category within the Apple Security Bounty program to reward researchers who can find Lockdown Mode bypasses to help improve its protections, inviting feedback and collaboration from the security research community.

Bounties will be doubled for qualifying findings in Lockdown Mode, reaching as high as $2,000,000 – the highest maximum bounty payout for security measurements.

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