Apple’s software disputes have been abused by at least two Israeli firms to remotely hack into iPhones without the necessity to click or tap anything.
Apple on Wednesday announced that it intends to release a ” new feature called Lockdown Mode this fall that aims to add a new layer of protection for human rights advocates, political dissidents and other targets of sophisticated hacking attacks.”
The move appeared after at least two Israeli firms had capitalized on the flaws in Apple’s software to remotely break into iPhones without the need of the target to click anything. NSO Group, the designer of the Pegasus software that can carry out such attacks, has been prosecuted by Apple and placed on a trade blacklist by US officials.
Lockdown Mode will appear on Apple’s iPhones, iPads, and Macs this year, and turning it on will stop most attachments sent to the iPhone’s Messages app. Security researchers think that NSO Group abused a flaw in how Apple handled message attachments. The new model will also obstruct wired connections to iPhones when they are closed.
Apple representatives declared that they think ” sophisticated attacks the new feature is designed to fight — called “zero-click” hacking techniques — are still relatively rare and that most users will not need to activate the new mode.”
Apple also said it is raising a “$10 million grant, plus any possible proceeds from its lawsuit against NSO Group, to groups that find, expose and work to prevent targeted hacking. “They added that ” the grant will go to the Dignity and Justice Fund established by the Ford Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States.”