As the next step in its ongoing cyber improvement program, Apple plans to introduce three security features focused on protecting user data in the cloud. -Party Supplier.
Three new features, available globally later in 2023, consist of security keys for Apple IDs, giving users a choice of physical forms of multi-factor authentication (MFA). Contacts iMessage’s key verification to help verify that the user is communicating with the intended party. iCloud Advanced Data Protection provides end-to-end encryption of iCloud data such as backups, photos, and notes.
At Apple, we have a strong commitment to providing our users with the world’s best data security. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said:
Our security team works tirelessly to keep your data safe. With iMessage Contact Key Verification, Security Keys and iCloud Advanced Data Protection, users will have access to his three powerful new tools to further protect their most sensitive data and communications.
Since we introduced MFA to Apple IDs almost eight years ago, over 95% of active iCloud accounts already use such protection. However, Apple says that using a physical security key gives users more choice regarding how to protect their personal data.
If you choose to opt-in, Security Keys augments your existing MFA by requiring a hardware security key as one of two factors. This eliminates the possibility of an attacker obtaining a user’s second factor, such as a one-time girlfriend’s passcode, via targeted phishing. .
Cupertino has not disclosed who it sources these hardware keys from, but 9to5Mac says it is working with the FIDO Alliance to ensure cross-platform compatibility with open standards.
The service is designed for users who are likely to face targeted threats to their online accounts, such as government officials, journalists, or others in the public eye, but is universally available. There are no indications that it cannot be done.
ESET Cyber Security Advisor Jake Moore commented: Attackers still primarily target Apple users through phishing scams and physical device theft, but the use of security keys may further mitigate this common risk, and inevitably to further protect your Apple account.
To get the full security benefits of this new feature, we recommend removing all other forms of account verification and relying solely on physical security keys for access. This prevents hackers from bypassing this form of selected authentication. It’s also a good idea to stay alert to potential phishing or vishing emails or phone calls from people trying to access your Apple account, he said.
Similarly, iMessage’s Contact Key Verification was designed with highly compromised users in mind, providing additional protection to its existing end-to-end encryption capabilities. Users can choose to further verify that they are sending messages to the right people, but conversations between users who have this feature enabled can prevent advanced adversaries from accessing her Apple infrastructure. to receive an alert if the eavesdropping is successful. Users can also compare so-called contact verification codes in person, FaceTime, or via another call.
iCloud’s Advanced Data Protection, on the other hand, adds to its existing security features by introducing end-to-end encryption for more forms of data, protecting 14 sensitive categories in this way. For opted-in users, this increases to 23. This means that stored data can only be viewed on trusted devices. Apple claims this feature will protect most iCloud data even if the service is compromised.
The three new features add to the range of protections Apple has already put in place, from onboard device encryption and data protection to features like lockdown mode introduced in early 2022. By the disgraced Israeli malware developer NSO Group, who targeted Apple devices with an exploit known as ForcedEntry.
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