The new lockdown mode is coming to iPad and MacBooks in addition to iPhones. This feature is said to protect against targeted cyber attacks. However, the feature is not intended for a general audience and is relevant to a very small percentage of users who may be targeted by threats/spyware, such as the Pegasus attack.
Apple Lock Mode
The new lockdown mode, when enabled on iPhone/iPad/Mac, will limit the functionality of the device to reduce the ‘attack surface’ of potential exploits and strengthen defenses. Here are the security measures Lockdown Mode will take when it launches this fall:
- Messages: Most types of message attachments, except images, are blocked and features such as link previews are disabled.
- Apple services: Incoming invitations and service requests, including FaceTime calls, will be blocked if the user has not previously sent the initiator a call or request.
- Shared albums: Shared albums will be removed from the Photos app and new invitations to shared albums will be blocked.
- FaceTime: Incoming FaceTime calls from people you haven’t called before will be blocked.
- Wired connections: Wired connections with a computer or accessory are blocked when iPhone is locked.
- Configuration profiles: Configuration Profiles cannot be installed and the device cannot enroll in mobile device management (MDM) when the lock mode is enabled.
How to enable iPhone lock mode
Follow these steps to enable lock mode on iOS.
- Open the Settings in iOS 16 or System Settings on macOS Ventura
- Go to Privacy & Security
- Scroll down to find ‘Lockdown Mode’
- There are two options after tapping: Learn more or Enable lock mode
- After turning it on, you will be prompted to reboot the phone
- To disable you need to go to the same setting and presumably disable.
Furthermore, Apple would also be looking for collaboration and feedback from researchers and others in the security community. With the same goal, the brand has created a new category in the Apple Bounty Program to reward those who bypass Lockdown Mode. Apparently, the bounties will be doubled for qualified discoveries in Lockdown Mode, up to a maximum of $2,000,000, which is claimed to be the highest in the industry.