What is Apple’s Lockdown Mode?

As you may know, most of the features of Apple’s device software are usually unveiled at the WWDC conference, which takes place every June, but this time, Apple surprised us all with this sudden release of the new feature. We all know that every year Apple makes an announcement at the WWDC event, and this is an unlikely event of the release of new features, but what can we say. It’s Apple: Unpredictable! This new feature is called “Lockdown Mode” which is available for iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura. Let’s see what this new lockdown mode feature has in store for us.

What is Apple’s Lockdown Mode?

Lockdown Mode is created in a way that protects users from highly targeted rental spy spyware. Apple has indicated in a press release that this is not intended for every user. However, it is intended for a very small number of users who face serious, targeted threats to their digital security.

Lockdown mode strengthens device defenses and strictly limits certain functionalities, greatly reducing the attack surface that can potentially be exploited by highly targeted rental spy spyware.

Please note that when Lockdown mode is enabled, many common iPhone functions will be disabled, causing more inconvenience to users. I think disabling another feature is more convenient than exposing ourselves to unknown threats. When Lockdown Mode is enabled: Apple also blocks all incoming notifications, service requests, and FaceTime calls from strangers. According to the released statement, FaceTime calls will be blocked if the user has not previously sent the initiator a call or request. When iPhone is locked, wired connections to a computer or accessory are disabled. In addition, no work or school configuration profiles can be installed. Most attachments in the Messages app are blocked. Only images are allowed. For example, link previews are also disabled.

However, this is intended for a very small number of people, including government officials, journalists and others, who have valuable data that requires extra security. In other words, while the vast majority of people reading this will never need to use Lockdown Mode, if you care about data security, be aware of this.

“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. While the vast majority of users will never fall victim to highly targeted cyber attacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users that do. That includes continuing to design defenses specifically for these users, as well as supporting researchers and organizations around the world who are doing critically important work unmasking mercenaries carrying out these digital attacks.”

Ivan Krstić, Apple’s Head of Security Engineering and Architecture, quoted:

Lockdown Mode features released at launch:

Apple will leave no stone unturned to improve Lockdown Mode and add new safeguards and protections over time for the benefit of users. Not only does Apple stop here, Apple has also decided to donate $10 million to the Dignity and Justice Fund to help fund research into such threats. Plus, there’s a reward! Apple has created a new category within the Apple Security Bounty program to reward researchers who discover Lockdown Mode being bypassed and to help improve security to solicit feedback and collaboration from the security research community. Bounties are doubled for qualifying discoveries in Lockdown Mode, up to a maximum of $2,000,000, the highest maximum bounty payout in the industry. Who would have thought that finding flaws would make you rich!

Until next time, with a different topic. Until then, Toodles.

Leave a Comment