Apple Unveils New “Lockdown” Mode For Journalists

( To protect its devices from Pegasus-style cyberattacks, Apple has developed a new “Lockdown Mode” for its iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

According to Apple, this optional protection feature is designed for users, like activists, journalists, and political dissidents, whose digital security faces “grave, targeted threats” from spyware intrusions.

When a device is in the “Lockdown Mode” apps, websites, and features can be restricted for security purposes while others can be disabled completely.

The new “Lockdown Mode” will allow users to block access to attachments sent via Messages. Incoming invitations like FaceTime calls can be blocked if the user didn’t initiate or request the call. The new mode will also block access to an iPhone when it is connected to a computer or accessory.

The new feature will be available this fall as part of the iOS 16 software update.

The “Lockdown Mode” is designed to offer protection against cyberattacks from private entities that develop state-sponsored spyware to steal information from devices.

The most notorious example of this spyware is Pegasus, made by the Israeli firm NSO Group.

Pegasus has already been used by governments to spy on politicians, government officials, reporters, activists, dissidents, and other high-profile individuals. It allows the operator to infiltrate a user’s phone and extract data, including messages, contact lists, and location history.

According to Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, this new “Lockdown Mode” reflects the company’s “unwavering commitment” to protecting Apple users from “even the rarest, most sophisticated attacks.”

Krstić conceded that the vast majority of Apple users will never be targeted by this kind of cyberattack, but added that the company “will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are.”