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    Apple launches new 'Lockdown Mode' for protection against spyware

    Apple launches new 'Lockdown Mode' for protection against spyware

    Apple launches new 'Lockdown Mode' for protection against spyware
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    Apple has announced a new Lockdown Mode for its upcoming iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura software called ‘Lockdown mode’ which is aimed at protecting users from “highly targeted mercenary spyware,” according to Apple’s newsroom post.

    Apple is stepping up its security. A new feature in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura dubbed Lockdown Mode will offer "extreme" protection for people like journalists, activists, and politicians who might be the target of a cyber attack.
    The tool will help reduce the number of physical and digital ways for an attacker to hack a user's device. Apple said the feature is aimed primarily at trying to combat attacks from "spyware" sold by NSO Group and other companies.
    Lockdown Mode blocks several attachment types, disables link previews, turns off certain web browsing technology by default, blocks invitations and FaceTime calls from unknown sources, locks wired connections to computers or accessories while the device is locked, and disables the ability to add new configuration profiles or enrol in mobile device management.
    In the past years, Apple has been criticised for not working with security researchers to find and eliminate flaws in its program. It was only in 2016 that Apple introduced the iOS bug bounty program, which started including other devices in 2019.
    Also Read:
    During the WWDC in June, Apple said its new Rapid Security Response feature will enable patches for security flaws that roll out faster and can take effect on a Mac without requiring a reboot. iOS and macOS Ventura will also include support for new passkey technology that will help eliminate the use of passwords.
    Other companies like Google and Microsoft are also making similar efforts to protect users against such highly-targeted attacks but Lockdown Mode is a new level of security that will be available to millions of people once it launches with the new software updates later this year.
    Apple has said that it is doubling the bounty for "qualifying findings" in Lockdown Mode to $2 million, which is the highest maximum bounty payout in the industry. Apple also said that any damages it’s awarded from a lawsuit filed last fall against NSO Group will be added to a $10 million grant to support organisations that "investigate, expose, and prevent highly targeted cyberattacks, including those created by private companies developing state-sponsored mercenary spyware."
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