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Apple has announced a "lockdown mode" on its devices to fight against spyware

Apple has announced a “lockdown mode” on its devices to fight against spyware

Enhanced security settings can be activated with one click to protect against malicious spyware: this is the innovation that Apple announced for its devices on Wednesday July 6.

A manufacturer of smartphones, tablets and computers, its software security vulnerabilities Pegasus has been exploited in the past by elite spywareSince autumn, it has decided to be available, A “lock mode” (French for “isolation mode”) to prevent infections with more advanced spyware.

This will have a direct feature charge as some will crash. While previewing attachments via SMS will also be disabled, receiving attachments such as images via SMS will become impossible. A user cannot also receive a video call using Apple FaceTime technology from a new correspondent: there must have been a prior exchange (message or call). Some advanced web browsing features will also be disabled.

Because making calls, receiving connections or browsing the web are particularly vulnerable. System vulnerabilities and thus entry points for malicious software. Pegasus spyware, produced by NSO Group, exploits flaws in Apple’s SMS system to infect iPhones. Until recently.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers “Project Pegasus”: How Israeli company NSO Group revolutionized intelligence

If this feature allows ” Extreme Security Level » It can be activated by all users, which Apple considers to be a primary concern “Because of who they are or what they do, some users are personally targeted by some sophisticated digital threats, such as the NSO Group and other private companies that develop spyware on behalf of states.”.

Apple is forced to downgrade its service

To ensure the strength of its “lockdown mode”, Apple has announced that it will double the bonuses it offers to hackers who find and communicate vulnerabilities. Apple is promising two million dollars in rewards to these “ethical hackers.”

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This new mode also says little about Apple’s inability to keep up with these peddlers of spyware and their hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development. The company is, in fact, forced to provide an optimal level of security, degrading its service to protect its most exposed users.

This enhanced security system is an additional step in the company’s ongoing conflict with the NSO Group. From Fall 2021, The company started warning its users When she has reason to believe they are being targeted by sophisticated spyware, specifically Pegasus. Apple took advantage of the press conference to offer “lockdown mode” to indicate that notifications had been sent to its users in more than 150 countries, although it did not specify the total number of alerts. Reason given by the company: Present case against NSO Group. Apple has actually taken the Israeli company to US courts, seeking a ban on all Apple-branded devices and services.

Read more Pegasus: Apple files complaint against spyware maker NSO Group

Apple has already pledged to pay collectable damages to companies that detect and combat malicious software. The company wants to anticipate this potential payment with the first check for $10 million awarded to the Ford Foundation’s Dignity and Justice Fund, an American philanthropy that is preemptively announcing its first funding in the fight against spyware. 2023.