July 8, 2022 · less than 3 min read
Extreme protection is just a click away.
iOS to the rescue
Whether you’re avoiding state-sponsored spyware, or are just plain paranoid, it looks like Apple has got your back. The tech giant is implementing a new feature onto iPhones (iOs 16), iPads (iPadOS 16), and Macs (macOS Ventura) intending to harden up their defense against the dark arts; spyware, hacking, and y’know, the other bad stuff.
While it will primarily help people like journalists, activists, and politicians, Lockdown Mode will be available to everyone. As a feature that can be turned on in device settings, it will block things like message attachments and link previews, turn off some web browsing tech, and block all manner of unknown calls and invitations – all in the name of safety.
Such extreme measures offered by Apple are likely in response to the increased use of state-sponsored mercenary software, such as Pegasus – which was found on the devices of journalists and politicians. Google’s Project Zero team had already outed iPhones as easily compromised by the Pegasus software without users even clicking anything. Scary stuff.
In truth, it’s high time that Apple upped its security measures. But having come under plenty of criticism for not working with security researchers to locate flaws in its platforms – like other tech companies have been doing – it’s finally decided that enough is enough. Alongside Lockdown Mode, Apple’s new updates will include support for new passkey technology, and a Rapid Security Response feature which will enable patches for security flaws without Macs even requiring a reboot.
Back in 2020, Lockdown Mode might’ve meant something a little different. But rather than keeping Covid at bay, Apple is now doing its bit to deliver a shot to hackers.
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