Apple creates closed mode to protect populations at-risk from cyberattacks

In order to provide “extreme” protection to “the very small number of users facing serious, targeted digital security threats”, Apple has announced a new closed mode , which it will add to iOS 16 , iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura this fall.

in the system. In Apple’s view, certain high-risk groups will be targeted by spyware groups such as the NSO Group (which has developed in addition to Pegasus) because of their status or the nature of their work, and the existence of closed mode can strictly prevent malicious apps from invading iPhone, iPad or Mac. Potential pipelines are limited.

For example, in messages, most attachments except images are blocked when closed mode is turned on, and web page previews are also disabled. Incoming call invitations such as FaceTime are rejected unless the other party has previously completed a call with the user or sent a request. In addition, in the closed state, the wired connection of the device to the computer or accessories is also disabled. JavaScript compilation will be disabled if it is not manually enabled, the description file will not be installed, and the device will not be able to join the mobile device management.

Apple Lockdonw Mode

The limitations mentioned above will be available when Closed Mode goes live this fall, and Apple plans to add more features in the future. In addition, Apple will expand its security bounty program, and anyone who finds a closed mode vulnerability and helps Apple improve security is eligible to receive up to $2 million in rewards. “Apple has made the most secure mobile device on the market, and closed mode is a groundbreaking feature that represents our unwavering determination to protect users from rare, sophisticated attacks.

” Ivan, Head of Security Engineering and Architecture, Apple Krstić said, “While the majority of users will never fall victim to a highly targeted attack, we also strive to protect the few who may be attacked. To this end, we will continue to design defenses specifically for these users and support Researchers and organizations around the world uncover the hiring groups behind these digital attacks.”

Apple last year sued NSO Group, holding it “responsible” for state-employment espionage. They also said they would donate $10 million, plus any damages from lawsuits, to organizations that “investigate, expose, and prevent highly targeted cyberattacks.”

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