Apple slaps hard against ‘mercenary’ surveillance-as-a-service industry

Apple has hit a big blow against the mercenary “Surveillance-as-a-service” industry, introducing a new, highly secure Secure Locking Mode to protect individuals at risk of targeted attacks. The company is also offering millions of dollars to support research to uncover such threats.

Starting with iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura, and now available in the latest developer updates only, Lockdown Mode hardens security security and sometimes limits functionalities abused by state-sponsored surveillance hackers. Apple describes this defense as “a sharp reduction in the attack surface that could be exploited by highly targeted mercenary spyware.”

In recent years, a series of targeted spyware attacks against journalists, activists and others have been exposed. Names including Pegasus, DevilsTongue, Predator, Hermit, and NSO Group undermined trust in digital devices and exposed the risk to semi-private entities and the threat they pose to civil society. Apple has no intention of opposing such practices, filing suit against the NSO Group in November and promising to oppose such practices where possible.

“Apple’s newly released Lockdown Mode will reduce the attack surface, increase costs for espionage businesses, making it much harder for oppressed governments to hack high – risk users,” said John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the office. . Citizens Laboratory at the University of Toronto’s Munster School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

“We congratulate [Apple] to protect human rights defenders, heads of state, lawyers, activists, journalists and many more, ” tweeted the EFF, a privacy advocacy group.

What does Lockdown Mode do?

Currently, Apple says that Lockdown Mode provides the following protections:

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Apple slaps hard against ‘mercenary’ surveillance-as-a-service industry

Source link Apple slaps hard against ‘mercenary’ surveillance-as-a-service industry

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