Apple has detailed today a new Lockdown Mode that will come to iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura later this fall. Lockdown Mode will provide optional protection for users of Apple devices being targeted by state-sponsored spyware and other major threats to their digital security.
“While the vast majority of users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are. That includes continuing to design defenses specifically for these users, as well as supporting researchers and organizations around the world doing critically important work in exposing mercenary companies that create these digital attacks,” explained Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of Security Engineering and Architecture.
In practice, Apple devices in Lockdown Mode will restrict apps, websites, and other features to improve security. Here are the main features to be available at launch:
Messaging: Incoming Facetime calls from unknown contacts are blocked, and the Messages app will also block most message attachment types and disable link previews.
Devices: Wired connections with a PC or accessory will be blocked when an iPhone in Lockdown Mode is locked.
Profiles: Lockdown Mode will prevent configuration profiles to be installed, and devices also won’t be able to be enrolled into mobile device management (MDM).
Apple said today that it will “continue to strengthen Lockdown Mode and add new protections to it over time.” Additionally, the company has created a new category within its Apple Security Bounty program to reward researchers who find security flaws in its new Lockdown Mode.