Apple’s Lockdown Mode: Protection Against Mercenary Spyware Attacks

Share This News

Apple has recently alerted users in 92 countries, including India, about the threat of mercenary spyware attacks, emphasizing the need for heightened security measures. In response to these sophisticated threats, Apple introduced the ‘lockdown’ mode with the release of iOS 16 in 2022.

Lockdown mode serves as a protective shield against mercenary spyware attacks, particularly targeting individuals such as government officials, activists, and journalists. While the majority of iPhone users may not be the primary targets of such attacks, Apple recommends considering the feature for enhanced security.

Key Points 

• Apple alerts iPhone users about potential spyware attacks similar to Pegasus.

• The company recommends enabling lockdown mode and updating devices for protection.

• The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team earlier identified vulnerabilities in Apple’s operating system and Safari browser

When activated, lockdown mode alters the typical operation of an iPhone. Basic functions like phone calls and text messages remain functional, but access to certain apps and functionalities is restricted. For example, attachments in messages may be blocked, including specific types of media files like images, videos, and audio files.

In Safari, certain “complex technologies” may be disabled, leading to longer loading times or potential failure to load certain websites. FaceTime calls are also impacted, with restrictions on initiating or receiving calls from individuals not listed as contacts or with whom previous FaceTime calls haven’t occurred.

Moreover, lockdown mode enhances privacy by concealing location data and information when sharing photos. Shared albums are automatically removed from the Photos app, and users won’t receive new invitations to join shared albums.

Below are the steps on how to activate “lockdown” mode on an iPhone:

-Open the Settings app

-Tap on “Privacy & Security”

-Tap on “Lockdown Mode”

-Tap on “Turn On Lockdown Mode”

-Tap on “Turn On & Restart”

-Enter device passcode

Additionally, users under lockdown mode are prevented from joining non-secure Wi-Fi networks, ensuring that connections are maintained only with secure networks. Overall, Apple’s lockdown mode offers a comprehensive approach to safeguarding user data and privacy against sophisticated spyware attacks.