own Mode in iOS 16 will help block government spyware attacks

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Apple said Wednesday that it will bring a new “block mode” to its next iPhone and Mac software that will turn off certain characteristics aimed at helping specific people to combat government -grade spy software.

The technology giant said that the new feature is an “extreme optional protection” for devices owners who are more likely to be attacked by national states that use a powerful Spyware, as journalists, activists and human rights defenders.

The characteristic lands after years of repeated and successful attacks aimed at thousands of iPhone users worldwide. Spyware manufacturers such as Group, Candiru and Cytrox build the feats that hit the safety protections of a Spyware planting device on behalf of their government customers. Apple usually launches safety updates for its devices, but the broadest efforts to reinforce its iPhone safety exploits against this type of exploits have not always been successful.

Security researchers say that it is not uncommon for government degree to read messages, call the call records, download photos, record the microphone and the phone calls of the device, take photos with the phone camera, access the victim’s passwords and track the phone location in real time.

When implementing the “blocking mode”, those that are subject to specific piracy attempts can immediately disable a series of characteristics, such as limiting which code can be executed in applications and on websites and greatly limit other Apple software areas, such as Imessage and Facetime, who have been abused by Spyware manufacturers to create feats capable of planting Spyware in iPhones.

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The blocking mode will also prevent iPhones and MACs from installing configuration profiles, typically used by organizations to implement configuration and safety protections in device fleet The content of a victim’s devices. Wiring connections are also blocked when the lock mode is enabled, preventing hardware forensic tools from discharging a device data.

In a publication, Apple said that the new blocking feature “even more hardens the device defenses and strictly limits certain functionalities, drastically reducing the attack surface that could potentially be exploited by highly directed mercenary spy software.”

Apple said the function will reach iOS 16, Ipados 16 and Macos Ventura, which are scheduled for its launch at the end of this year along with the new Apple iPhones.

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