Apple today detailed two initiatives to help protect users who may
be personally targeted by some of the most sophisticated digital
threats, such as those from private companies developing
state-sponsored mercenary spyware. Lockdown Mode — the first
major capability of its kind, coming this fall with iOS 16, iPadOS
16, and macOS Ventura — is an extreme, optional protection for
the very small number of users who face grave, targeted threats to
their digital security. Apple also shared details about the $10
million cybersecurity grant it announced last November to support
civil society organizations that conduct mercenary spyware threat
research and advocacy. [...]
At launch, Lockdown Mode 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
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.
Interesting list of features that will be restricted — this almost certainly maps directly to the known sources of vulnerabilities that have been exploited by NSO Group and Grayshift’s GrayLock device. Good to see Apple increasing its bounties for vulnerabilities reported in these areas, and the $10 million grant as well.