Apple says ‘Lockdown Mode’ has completed a year with no successful cyberattacks

In the fast-paced realm of cybersecurity, Apple’s Lockdown Mode has completed a successful year in operation, at least as per Apple. The company says it is not aware of any user using the Lockdown Mode, get hacked (to date).

Introduced last year, Lockdown Mode introduces specific operational adjustments across Apple’s suite of applications and services. The objective is clear: minimize potential vulnerabilities and fortify user security. By blocking attachments and link previews on iMessage, filtering FaceTime calls from unknown contacts, removing location information from shared pictures, and preventing certain fonts from loading on websites, Lockdown Mode endeavors to create a more secure digital environment.

As Apple engineers reported no known successful cyberattacks against users employing Lockdown Mode, it prompts a critical examination of the feature’s effectiveness. In documented cases, Lockdown Mode demonstrated its efficacy by thwarting cyber threats. In April, it successfully prevented a zero-day cyberattack using the Pegasus spyware against a human rights defender. Subsequently, in September, the feature played a crucial role in preventing an attack on a former Egyptian parliament member, this time employing the Predator spyware. These real-world successes simply go on to Lockdown Mode’s potential in countering sophisticated spyware threats.

Despite its successes, Lockdown Mode is not without limitations. Researchers from Jamf Threat Labs emphasize that the feature is not a comprehensive antivirus solution and may be susceptible to counterfeiting by threat actors. This nuanced perspective is crucial for users and cybersecurity professionals to understand the contextual role of Lockdown Mode in an overall security strategy.

In fact, recent times have seen experts warn of a new “post-exploitation tampering technique,” one that tricks the intended target into believing that their Apple iPhone is running in Lockdown Mode. In reality, Lockdown Mode is off, and the threat actors are free to carry out covert attacks.


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