Apple said the feature is primarily aimed at trying to combat attacks from "spyware"
Apple Inc. introduced a security feature for iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. The new feature is designed to prevent targeted cyber-attacks on high-profile users such as activists, journalists, and government officials. The optional feature, called Lockdown Mode, will offer "extreme" protection for a "very small number of users who face grave, targeted attacks," Apple said Wednesday in a statement. The tool vastly reduces the possibility of physical and digital ways for an attacker to hack a user's device. Apple said the feature is primarily aimed at trying to combat attacks from "spyware" sold by NSO Group and other companies, particularly to state-sponsored groups.
Lockdown Mode will affect the Messages app, FaceTime, Apple online services, configuration profiles, the Safari web browser, and wired connections. With the tool in place, the Messages app will block attachments other than images and disable link previews. Those are two common mechanisms that hackers use to infiltrate devices remotely. The web browser, another frequent conduit for hackers, will also be severely limited, with restrictions on certain fonts, web languages, and features involving reading PDFs and previewing content. In FaceTime, users won't be able to receive calls from an individual that they haven't previously called within the preceding 30 days.