Apple users will soon have the option to lock down their iPhones, iPads and Macs, as part of a new approach to block “the most sophisticated digital threats.”
According to Apple, “Lockdown Mode” will be included in iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura this fall.
The device’s lockdown mode will restrict some functionalities, such as blocking FaceTime calls from people you haven’t called before and some web browsing features. Lockdown Mode is “an extreme, alternative protection for a small number of users who face serious, targeted threats to their digital security.”
The lockdown mode will also restrict web browsing options, disable features like link preview and restrict most mail attachments. Additionally, users will not be able to use the mobile device management program on their work phone or access the PC when their phone is locked.
The Verge claims that these features have a history of being hacked.
According to Apple, the new feature is designed to support people who are more likely to be targeted by “who they are or what they do,” such as journalists or human rights activists.
In a release on Wednesday, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture Evan Kristik referred to Lockdown Mode as a breakthrough feature.
“While most users will never fall victim to a highly targeted cyberattack, we will work tirelessly to protect a small number of users,” he says.
Government agencies around the world have been buying phone hacking tools from private companies such as Israel’s NSO Group.
Apple sued Israel’s NSO Group in federal court last year for breaching the iPhone and other Apple accessories. Apple said in its complaint that the employees of the NSO Group were “mercenaries of the 21st century who have built highly sophisticated cyber-surveillance mechanisms that invite routine and major abuse.”