June 3, 2023

Apple previewed a new security feature dubbed Lockdown Mode that automatically locks down system functionality that could be hijacked in cyberattacks.

Described as a “groundbreaking security capability,”  by Apple offers specialized protection to users who may be at risk of highly targeted cyberattacks from private companies developing state-sponsored mercenary spyware.


The new service is optional and is targeted at a very small number of users who face grave, targeted threats to their digital security.

When enabled, the feature will block most message attachment types other than images. Some features such as link previews are also disabled. Certain web technologies, including just-in-time JavaScript compilation, are disabled unless the user excludes a trusted site from Lockdown Mode.

With Apple services, incoming invitations, and service requests, including FaceTime calls, are blocked if the user has not previously sent the initiator a call or request. Wired connections with a computer or accessory are blocked when an iPhone is locked. Configuration profiles cannot be installed, and the device cannot enroll into mobile device management while Lockdown Mode is turned on.


While Apple primarily pitches the idea using general terms, they’re not shy in holding back on whom the feature really targets, citing controversial Israeli Pegasus spyware maker NSO Group

Apple intends to make Lockdown Mode generally available for iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura and offers several protections.

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