Apple toughens iOS device protections - Mobile World Live

Apple toughens iOS device protections

07 JUL 2022

Apple previewed a device security tool it claimed boosted protection for users at risk of targeted cyberattacks using state-sponsored spyware.

Lockdown Mode is an optional security feature Apple developed to reduce the number of physical and digital ways for an attacker to hack into iPhones and other devices.

The function targets assaults using software developed by private companies which is employed by governments. Lockdown Mode hardens device defences and limits certain functionalities to reduce the attack surfaces.

Lockdown Mode will block most message attachment types other than images, while some features including link previews will be disabled.

Incoming invitations and service requests including FaceTime calls will be blocked if the user didn’t previously send the initiator a call or request. And wired connections with a computer or accessory are blocked when the user’s iPhone is locked.

The vendor plans to release Lockdown Mode for devices running iOS16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura later this year.

Apple’s move comes as concern over spyware attacks on mobile devices grows: the company took legal action against NSO Group in 2021 over claims iOS users were being targeted.

Last month, Google reported use of commercial spyware against Android and iOS devices in Italy and Kazakhstan and warned the sector posed a threat by “enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools and arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house”.

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Mike Robuck

Mike Robuck is the U.S. Editor at Mobile World Live. He joined the Mobile World Live staff in February of 2022. Prior to joining GSMA, he was editor of FierceTelecom and of Light Reading’s Telco Transformation microsite. He has a...

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