Apple debuts new high-security Lockdown mode, $10M cybersecurity grant

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple is debuting a new security feature called Lockdown Mode for iOS 16 and macOS Ventura that's meant to shore up defenses for high-risk users, and is also contributing $10 million to groups that research and prevent cyberattacks.

Apple Lockdown Mode
Apple Lockdown Mode


The iPhone maker on Wednesday announced the two endeavors as part of its commitment to "protect users from highly targeted mercenary spyware" such as those made by NSO Group.

For users who might find themselves in risky situations because of who they are or what they do, Apple is debuting something that it's calling Lockdown Mode. It's an extreme and optional protect system for those who face "grave, targeted threats to their digital security."

When Lockdown Mode is enabled, a system will automatically block most message attachment types, disable complex web technologies like just-in-time JavaScript compilation, stop wired data connections when a device is locked, and prevent configuration profiles from being installed.

In other words, the mechanism will harden device security by limiting system functionality. While Apple says it has reached a good balance between usability and security with the feature, it isn't designed for average users.

Some of the features are iPhone-specific, but Apple says Lockdown Mode will be available in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura.

Apple also says that it will continue to bolster Lockdown Mode over time, adding new protections.

The Cupertino company is also inviting security researchers to find issues with Lockdown Mode via a new Security Bounty program. Researchers can nab bounties up to a maximum of $2 million, double its previous cap and the highest bounty payout in the industry.

Additionally, Apple is also making a $10 million grant, along with any damages awarded from the NSO Group lawsuit, to organizations that "investigate, expose, and prevent highly targeted cyberattacks."

The grant is being made to the Dignity and Justice Fund established by the Ford Foundation. It will initially go toward organizations that help expose mercenary spyware and protect targets.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    jas99jas99 Posts: 106member
    Bravo, Apple. 
    rob53byronlStrangeDaysFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 9
    caladaniancaladanian Posts: 341member
    Good for dissidents, journalists or politicians, yes. I would like to know more specific examples for what will NOT work any longer, when this high security mode is on… or if it’s easy to switch between on and off. 
    byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,631member
    Good for dissidents, journalists or politicians, yes. I would like to know more specific examples for what will NOT work any longer, when this high security mode is on… or if it’s easy to switch between on and off. 
    Also, if on/off switching can somehow be prevented from being done under duress. 
    byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,988member
    I’m happy Apple is continuing the fight for privacy while governments continue to try and get rid of it. Would be nice if consumers had a voice in all these government (worldwide) attacks on our products and security. Voting doesn’t seem to help one bit. 
    byronlbloggerblogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    dk49dk49 Posts: 213member
    How to enable Lockdown mode? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    rob53 said:
    I’m happy Apple is continuing the fight for privacy while governments continue to try and get rid of it. Would be nice if consumers had a voice in all these government (worldwide) attacks on our products and security. Voting doesn’t seem to help one bit. 
    First of all - None of it helps when you’re complicit with the collection of the data in the fist place. Apple has willingly provided back doors to its products for years, particularly to third parties such as the cell service providers, where then, these same entities you mention above have free access to “your data and activity”. Remember the Snowden files that ended up on Wikileaks and still to this day why a journalist named Assange sits in jail rotting… because he exposed all of this,,, Apple included?

    Second - this kind of thing is of no help to protecting the data when its in transit going from point a to point b across the internet… which is where most data is being grabbed… and by you guessed it - the telecom service providers…

    So in my view… a lot of this is for PR purposes and to try and make people believe Apple is mr privacy protector, when they really are not, in the literal sense… There is not privacy with things digital, and the brilliant thing is, those who are profiling you from your data  have convinced everyone to give them your data for free for doing nothing. Those free apps you get, or services you use… they aren’t free… they are selling people your personal info so you can be tracked, monitored, profiled, watched, 24/7…  
    byronl
  • Reply 7 of 9
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,120member
    Good for dissidents, journalists or politicians, yes. I would like to know more specific examples for what will NOT work any longer, when this high security mode is on… or if it’s easy to switch between on and off. 
    Also, if on/off switching can somehow be prevented from being done under duress. 
    Under duress? I mean, if you're physically under threat the jig is already up, right?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,120member
    rob53 said:
    I’m happy Apple is continuing the fight for privacy while governments continue to try and get rid of it. Would be nice if consumers had a voice in all these government (worldwide) attacks on our products and security. Voting doesn’t seem to help one bit. 
    So in my view… a lot of this is for PR purposes and to try and make people believe Apple is mr privacy protector, when they really are not, in the literal sense… There is not privacy with things digital, and the brilliant thing is, those who are profiling you from your data  have convinced everyone to give them your data for free for doing nothing. Those free apps you get, or services you use… they aren’t free… they are selling people your personal info so you can be tracked, monitored, profiled, watched, 24/7…  
    Absolutely false. While it is true there is no such thing as absolute privacy, it's not binary (ha). Some things are more secure and some things less -- usability & security have always been a compromise with each other. Some things make our devices more useful but less secure, and this mode disables a lot of that. It's 100% awesome to put them all into a single toggle. 

    You show me another mass produced mobile OS that is doing more.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 9
    You show me another mass produced mobile OS that is doing more.
    That won't stop the usual suspects from raising political hell and as a result, Apple will face all sorts of investigations over this feature that cuts shady business practices off at the knee. Stand by for a raft of Anti-trust investigations.
    This is just a fact of life these days.
    watto_cobra
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