Apple has unveiled a new security mechanism to shield high-risk consumers from cyberattacks involving the spyware. All of the company’s iPhones, iPads, and Macs will support Lockdown Mode starting in the fall with the release of the newest operating system. The option restricts calls from unidentified users and inhibits specific functions. It follows the spyware infection of Apple devices used by journalists, lawmakers, and activists.
Apple is presently suing Israeli spyware company NSO Group, alleging that it used its potent Pegasus spyware to target people in 150 different nations.The company’s software was able to infect both Android and iPhone devices, giving users the ability to retrieve emails, images, and messages, record phone calls, and covertly activate microphones and cameras. NSO Group insists that it only provides Pegasus to armed forces, law enforcement, and intelligence organizations from nations with strong records of respecting human rights. The company claims that its tools are designed to target terrorists and criminals.
Apple came under fire from privacy and security experts last July when the scope of the suspected surveillance was made public. It swiftly sent an urgent software update to all devices to close the hole that Pegasus had been using covertly for years. The business is now introducing Lockdown Mode as a broader security feature that it claims can shield devices from all known spyware available right now.
The following safeguards will be present during Lockdown Mode:
• Messages: All attachment kinds besides photos are restricted. Link previews are among the functions that are disabled.
• Calls: If a user does not already have a call or request from the originator, incoming invitations, including FaceTime calls, are prohibited.
• When the iPhone is locked, wired connections to a computer or device are prohibited.
Lockdown Mode will be available to all users in the device settings at launch, but Apple advises against using it unless you are at particular risk from what it terms “mercenary spyware attacks,” such as a journalist or an opposition figure in an oppressive regime.
Ivan Kristi, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, said: “While the vast majority of users will never be victims of highly targeted cyber-attacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are,”