Portland News

iPhone Users to Receive Major Security Boost from Apple

Apple set to introduce two new features for improved security measures
Apple set to introduce two new features for improved security measures

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

Apple has unveiled two initiatives to protect users by introducing Lockdown Mode and macOS Venture.

Lockdown mode is the first of its kind and will be released this fall alongside iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. The new feature includes protections such as:

  • Block message attachment types, including link previews
  • Disable complex web technology unless the user excludes a site from Lockdown Mode
  • Invitations and service requests such as FaceTime calls will be blocked unless the user has called or made a request
  • Wired connections to computers or accessories are blocked when iPhone is locked
  • iPhones cannot enroll in mobile device management when Lockdown Mode is enabled, and configuration profiles cannot be installed

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macOS Venture is optional protection designed to help users with severe threats. It strengthens device defenses, limits some functionality, and reduces the attack surface that can potentially be exploited by rented 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 Ivan Krstic, head of engineering and security architecture at Apple.

“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 to strengthen Lockdown Mode and add new protections over time. The company also created a new category within the Apple Security Bounty program to reward researchers who can find Lockdown Mode bypasses to improve security by inviting input and collaboration from the security research community. Prizes are doubled for Lockdown qualifying results, up to $2,000,000, the highest maximum payout for security measures.

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Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.