iOS 16 beta 3 increases security with Lockdown Mode
Today, Apple released iOS 16 beta 3 to its developer community. The new beta offers plenty of new features like iCloud Shared Photo Library, a new wallpaper, new lock screen fonts, and Lockdown Mode. While Apple has been pretty good about keeping its customers’ data private, it is taking things to the extreme with the new Lockdown Mode in the latest beta release.
Ivan Krstić, Security Engineering and Architecture at Apple, describes the feature as:
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. That includes continuing to design defenses specifically for these users, as well as supporting researchers and organizations around the world doing critically important work in exposing mercenary companies that create these digital attacks.
Lockdown Mode will offer the most comprehensive security on iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. It will limit communication by disabling attachments to messages and link previews. It will also limit complex web technologies from executing when browsing the internet. Apple services like FaceTime will also have limitations in place, disabling all incoming communications unless initiated. Lastly, configuration profiles and wired connections will be blocked when devices are locked. This might seem extreme, but it is all in place to prevent attacks or exploits from occurring.
Apple states that this is just the beginning of Lockdown Mode, with improvements to come in the future. Because of this, the company has established a new category in the Apple Security Bounty program that specifically focuses on Lockdown Mode. The company is also making a $10 million grant available to the Dignity and Justice Fund. Once again, Lockdown Mode isn’t for your everyday person, but if you want to give it a go, be sure to update to the latest iOS 16 beta.