Apple Inc will roll out a new feature called ‘Lockdown Mode’ on iPhones, iPads and Macs as a new layer of protection against spyware. Reports suggest that the feature will arrive in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura, slated for launch this year.
The setting will block message attachments sent to the Messages app, disables link previews, blocks invitations and FaceTime calls from unknown sources and disables web browsing technology by default. Other tech giants have made similar attempts, including Google’s Advanced Protection Program for its accounts or the Super Duper Secure Mode Microsoft started testing in Edge.
TechRadar quoted Ivan Krstic, Apple’s head of Security Engineering and Architecture, as saying, “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.” According to a Reuters report, the company will pay up to $2 million for each flaw that security researchers find in the new mode.
Reportedly, Apple last year said thousands of iPhone users, including government officials, had been targeted by state-sponsored attackers. Apple sued NSO in November 2021, the company it believed was responsible for creating the surveillance software. However, NSO has denied the charge.