iOS 16 — What You Need to Know About iPhone Locked Mode

Apple’s soon-to-launch iOS 16 operating system will include a new feature called Lockdown Mode, the iPhone maker has announced. By limiting the functionality of the iPhone, iOS 16’s security feature will offer additional protection to users who may be at risk due to targeted cyberattacks with spyware.

Apple calls Lockdown Mode “the first major capability of its kind.”

Lockdown Mode is “an innovative capability that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users even against the rarest, most advanced attacks,” says Ivan Krstić, head of Apple’s security engineering and architecture.

Lockdown Mode is not for everyone — as Krstić notes, the vast majority of iPhone users will never be the victim of highly targeted cyber attacks, such as the “zero-click” attack using the Pegasus spyware.

Pegasus, which was made by NSO Group to be used against criminals, was found on the phones of people close to Khashoggi, the journalist who was murdered in 2018.

Key Mode: “Extreme Security”

Lockdown Mode offers an “extreme, optional level of security,” according to Apple. But while Lockdown Mode hardens device defenses, it also strictly limits certain features — the inevitable compromise for such strong security.

For example, using Lockdown Mode, most message attachments except images are blocked and functions such as link previews are turned off. Incoming invitations and service requests, including FaceTime calls, are blocked if the user has not previously sent the promoter a call or request. Wired connections with a computer or accessory are blocked when the iPhone is locked.

Lockdown Mode – good optics for Apple

There’s no doubt that Lockdown Mode offers good optics to demonstrate Apple’s ability to protect against these high-risk attacks that target a small number of people. The last year has made us understand how easily iPhone attacks can happen without the knowledge of people. So-called zero-click attacks do not require any user interaction at all, and these can allow espionage to your phone.

Lockdown Mode may be the first protection of its kind, but additional security safeguards for at-risk users are also offered by Google in its Advanced Protection Program, which for example requires a security key for authentication.

But Lockdown Mode is much more extreme — it seriously limits many of your iPhone’s core features. “People also need to be aware of the cost-benefit relationship here,” says Forbes contributor Davey Winder.

He stresses that most people will not be attacked by the kind of high-end spyware that iOS 16’s security feature is designed to stop. “If you activate Lock Mode, it’s not a magic bullet but it will disable most message attachments; most websites will run slower because it will disable Just In Time JavaScript, which is used to speed up websites. So it’s one of those things that looks good, sounds good, but I don’t think most people will need it. ”

Forbes’ Zak Doffman thinks Apple’s Lock Mode is “an instinctive reaction to all the discoveries they’ve seen over the last year.”

With that in mind, he suggests that Lockdown Mode will be version one of Apple’s extra security protection. “It’s no use launching Lock Mode if it disrupts your iPhone so much that it becomes unusable. People just won’t use it.”

So should you use Lock Mode? If you’re a regular iPhone user, there’s really no need. However, if you risk an attack — as a journalist or a dissident — it’s worth taking advantage of.

#iOS #iPhone #Locked #Mode

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