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Tech giant Apple announced new security measures that it is making available to people concerned that they are being targeted by sophisticated cyberattacks.

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Apple announced that the new “Lockdown Mode” will debut with iOS 16, iPadOS16 and macOS Ventura, and features “extreme, optional protection for the very small number of users who face grave, targeted threats to their digital security.”

“Apple makes the most secure mobile devices on the market,” Ivan Krstic, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, said in a statement. “Lockdown Mode is a groundbreaking capability that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users from even the rarest, most sophisticated attacks. While the vast majority of users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are.”

Apple introduces ‘Lockdown Mode’ to protect against government spyware

Tech giant Apple announced new security measures that it is making available to people concerned that they are being targeted by sophisticated cyberattacks.

The introduction of the new security feature comes after revelations that hackers were able to access recent-model iPhones with “zero-click” attacks via text messages, CNBC reported. Those attacks can be successful even when the user does not click on the link.

Rather than protect against private hackers looking for money, Lockdown Mode is aimed at protecting victims who are targets of state-sponsored cyberterrorism, such as political dissidents, human rights advocates and journalists, The Washington Post reported.

Two Israeli firms have publicly exploited flaws in Apple’s software to break into iPhones, and NSO Group, the maker of the “Pegasus” software that carried out the attacks, has been sued by Apple and placed on a trade blacklist in the U.S., Reuters reported.

Apple has pledged to donate any damages it wins from the lawsuit to efforts to expose and mitigate the impact of spyware, The Washington Post reported.

When it launches, Apple said Lockdown Mode will include these features:

· Most message attachment types other than images will be blocked, and features like link preview will be disabled.

· Complex web technologies will be disabled unless the user excludes a trusted website from Lockdown Mode.

· Incoming invitations, including FaceTime calls, are blocked if the user has not previously sent a call or request to the user.

· Wired connections with computers and accessories are blocked when the phone is locked.

· Configuration profiles cannot be installed, and the device cannot enroll into mobile device management (MDM).

Apple is also inviting hackers to try to breach Lockdown Mode’s security features, saying that researchers who help to improve its protections by finding Lockdown Mode bypasses are eligible for a bounty payout of up to $2,000,000.