Apple will add a “lockdown” option against spyware to its iPhones, iPads, and Macs. The security measure is a covert admission that not even Apple, the most valuable business in the world, has been able to fully protect the iPhone and its other devices from hacking attacks from government-sponsored actors and commercial spyware. Governments have violated the privacy of journalists, political dissidents, and human rights advocates using these techniques.
“Lockdown” option against spyware
The new “lockdown mode” function will initially be made available as a test version so that security experts may assist Apple in finding any bugs or flaws. Apple typically makes significant updates to the operating systems of its mobile devices in late September.
Private corporations like Israel’s NSO Group have been selling phone hacking software to governments all around the world for years, yet only a small number of nations appear to have the means to build their own mobile phone hacking capabilities.
Apple sued NSO Group in federal court for hacking into iPhones and other Apple products late last year as a result of the expanding hacker-for-hire issue.
Apple said in its complaint that NSO Group personnel were “amoral mercenaries of the 21st century who have developed highly sophisticated cyber-surveillance gear that enables routine and egregious misuse.” NSO, which the US Commerce Department has placed on a blacklist, has denied any wrongdoing and claimed that its products have been used to stop terrorists and child abusers.
Apple’s lockdown function, in contrast to the security safeguards that are integrated into the majority of its software, is designed to act as an emergency button that the firm anticipates would only be used by a small percentage of its users.
Since turning on lockdown will disable several widely used capabilities, it is generally thought that spyware victims will only use it as a last resort. In addition to enabling the ability to receive FaceTime calls from new numbers, this also enables the sending of attachments and links in SMS. Also restricted will be web browsing.
Apple thinks that activists, journalists, and other targets of well-funded organizations’ hacking attacks will benefit from the additional degree of security. Lockdown mode will able to be activated and deactivated at any time by users.