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According to Apple, iOS 16 lockdown mode helps stop government spyware attacks – TechCrunch

According to Apple, iOS 16 lockdown mode helps stop government spyware attacks – TechCrunch


Apple announced Wednesday that it will introduce a new “lockdown mode” for future iPhone and Mac software that will turn off certain features aimed at helping targeted individuals fight government-grade spyware. ..

For technology giants, this new feature is “extreme option protection” for device owners who are likely to be targeted by the nation-state using powerful spyware such as journalists, activists, and human rights advocates. Said.

This feature will land after years of repeated and successful attacks targeting thousands of iPhone users around the world. Spyware makers such as NSO Group, Candiru, and Cytrox are building exploits that break through device security to instill spyware on behalf of government clients. Apple typically releases security updates for devices quickly, but broad efforts to enhance iPhone security exploits against these types of exploits have not always been successful.

According to security researchers, government-grade spyware can read messages, recall logs, download photos, secretly record device microphones and phones, and take pictures with a phone camera. It is not uncommon to access the victim’s password or track the location of the phone in real time.

Screenshot showing how lockdown mode looks in iOS 16. Image credit: Apple (included)

In the “Lockdown Mode” deployment, targeted hacking attempts target users to limit the code that can be executed on apps and websites, and other areas of Apple software such as iMessage and FaceTime. You can quickly disable many features, such as significantly limiting. Has been abused by spyware makers to create exploits that can instill spyware on the iPhone.

Lockdown mode also prevents iPhones and Macs from installing configuration profiles. This is typically used by organizations to deploy settings and security protections across device fleets, but is exploited by consumer spyware to monitor and secretly download content on victims’ devices. .. Wired connections are also blocked when lockdown mode is enabled, preventing hardware forensic tools from downloading device data.

In a post, Apple said the new lockdown feature “further strengthens device defenses, strictly limits certain features, and significantly targets attack areas that can be exploited by targeted mercenary spyware. We will reduce it. “

According to Apple, this feature will be available in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura and will be released later this year along with Apple’s new iPhone.




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