Apple Launches ‘Lockdown Mode’ to Protect Targeted Users from Spyware and Hackers

Tech giant Apple recently introduced a new security feature called the Lockdown Mode to protect high-profile users. This is designed to improve device security warding off hacking and targeted spyware. Lockdown Mode is built into iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura and will be available this fall later this year across Apple’s devices–iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

With this feature on, it includes the following protections:

  • Messages: Most message attachment types other than images are blocked. Some features, like link previews, are disabled.
  • Web browsing: Certain complex web technologies, like just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compilation, are disabled unless the user excludes a trusted site from Lockdown Mode.
  • 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 iPhone is locked.
  • Configuration profiles cannot be installed, and the device cannot enroll into mobile device management (MDM), while Lockdown Mode is turned on.

Apple announced that it will continuously add new protections to the Lockdown Mode. Through its Security Bounty program, Apple will reward researchers who can discover flaws and bypass or break through the new feature.