iPhone, Spyware Lockdown Mode: How It Works

Isolation Mode will be integrated into iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. It will be able to lock devices, while giving up a whole series of active functions normally

Apple has made privacy protection a hallmark of its strategy. Not just a “privacy laundering” with a bit of substance, but a plan – speaking of hardware – that has developed over the years with many more functions that have come and gone on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS (which has created bitter feuds with other giants, such as Facebook Meta). The latest news about it, for iOS 15, we told them here. More is coming with iOS 16. Reboot now by focusing on a critical problem for a company that makes devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers: spyware. “isolation mode» (“Lock mode” in English) is a new feature coming to Apple’s operating systems that will be able to lock devices, but in exchange for giving up a whole series of normally active functions.

A method that is not for everyone

Isolation mode provides a high level of security but should only be activated and only, as Apple says, by “a very small number of users who, because of their identity or activities, can be personally targeted by some of the most complex digital threats”. Full cases such as spyware are explicitly mentioned winged horse Created by the Israeli Nso Group.
The isolation situation is conceptually similar to the situation of a building that is closed due to a serious and imminent threat: the defenses are strengthened, greatly reducing the attack surface, but in return many features are lost. That is why it is not an option to remain constantly active or even to be considered if you do not hold a particularly important corporate position or role and if at the same time you receive a warning about the danger of spyware. Isolation mode will be available in iOS 16and iPadOs 16 and macOS Ventura, which will be available for download on iPhone, iPad, and Mac in the fall. At launch, Lock Mode will include these protections (with related inconveniences):

  • Messages: Most types of attachments to messages other than images are blocked. Some features, such as link previews, are disabled.
  • Web browsing: Some web technologies, such as JavaScript just-in-time (JIT) compilation, are disabled unless the user excludes a trusted site from quarantine mode.
  • Apple Services: Incoming calls and service requests, including FaceTime calls, are blocked if the user has not previously sent a call or request to the contact you initiated.
  • Cable connections to the computer or an accessory are blocked when the iPhone is locked.
  • You cannot install configuration profiles or register a device in Mobile Device Manager (MDM) when lock mode is on.
2 million dollars

“Quarantine mode is an innovative feature that reflects our ongoing commitment to protecting users from even the rarest and most sophisticated attacks,” he said. Ivan Kristek, chief of architecture and security engineering at Apple. “While the vast majority of users will never be a victim of highly targeted cyber attacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the few users who will. This means continuing to design specific defenses for these users and supporting researchers and organizations around the world who are doing critical work. To expose the mercenary companies that manufacture these digital attacks.”
To solicit feedback and cooperation from the security research community, Apple has also created a new category within the program Apple Security Bounty: Anyone who identifies vulnerabilities related to Quarantine will be able to earn a maximum bonus of a 2 million dollarsthe highest “volume” in the industry.

Money to fight spyware

In addition to the new isolation mode and increased “rewards”, Apple has decided to fund organizations that investigate, report and prevent highly targeted cyber attacks, including those created by private companies developing state-sponsored mercenary spyware, with $10 million. The scholarship will be paid to Dignity and Justice FundCreated and recommended by the Ford Foundation. The global spyware trade targets human rights defenders, journalists and dissidents. “It facilitates violence, strengthens authoritarianism, and supports political repression,” said Laurie McGlinchy, director of the Technology and Society Program at the Ford Foundation. To those 10 million will be added any money resulting from Apple’s lawsuit with the Nso Group, if successful. Spying programs winged horse It has been the weapon frequently used to spy on or harm activists in many parts of the world.

July 06

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