Apple is launching a new security feature to safeguard high-risk users from spyware cyber-attacks. Lockdown Mode will be made available in 2-3 months with the next operating system across all of the tech giant’s iPhones, iPads and Macs.

The setting bars various functions and wards off unknown callers. This arrives after Apple devices owned by activists, politicians and journalists were plagued with spyware attacks.

Apple is currently suing NSO Group Technologies (NSO standing for Niv, Shalev, Omri, the names of the company’s founders), accusing the Israeli spyware company of targeting victims across 150 nations with its potent Pegasus spyware. The firm’s software could infect both iPhones and Android devices, enabling operators to obtain messages, photos and emails, record calls and clandestinely activate microphones and cameras.

NSO Group reasons that its tools are made to target terrorists and criminals and claims it only supplies Pegasus to military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies from nations with a good record on human rights.

Lockdown Mode will have the following protections:

  • Messages: Most message attachment types other than images will be blocked. Some features such as link previews, will be disabled.
  • Web browsing: Some complex web technologies, such as just-in-time JavaScript compilation will be disabled unless the user excludes a trusted site.
  • Calls: Incoming invitations including FaceTime calls will be blocked if the user has not previously sent the caller a call or request.
  • Wired connections with a computer or accessory will be blocked when the iPhone is locked.

Furthermore, the tech giant announced that it will double the bounty threshold it pays out to ethical hackers who uncover security flaws in Lockdown Mode to US$2 million. Apple will also donate a US$10 million fund to aid organizations in exposing the misuse of spyware.

For more information, read the original story in BBC.