This new model just released by Apple gives your iPhone presidential security

In the past, monitoring a person often required the deployment of many eavesdropping devices, and some images were also required to determine personal habits and behavior patterns.

Today, as long as you use hackers to break into your phone, it almost contains our personal preferences, habits, routines, and even some health data.

Of course, these are the plots in many spy movies, and they are still far from our lives.

But for the world's special professions, such as politicians, investigative journalists and corporate executives, they are constantly exposed to digital threats such as being hacked.

▲ Obama and BlackBerry

They may be a very small group of people in the world, easily ignored in statistics, but when their mobile phones are exploited by malware, it may spread to a considerable extent.

Building a set of draconian security measures for this likely less than 1% of the population may not be too resource-intensive for large technology companies.

▲ Biden has used a custom iPhone

I vaguely remember that during Obama's tenure, American dignitaries were collectively equipped with customized BlackBerry phones. With the gradual delisting of BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices have become the only options. The NSA will also take measures to encrypt or restrict functions for corresponding products to prevent smart devices from being hacked and eavesdropped.

However, this approach is not for all users who are at risk of being attacked by the network, and the "vulnerability" is still there.

Apple Lockdown Mode, Fall is Coming

Apple, which has always advertised its focus on privacy and data protection, has launched a Lockdown mode with the iOS 16 beta today. Designed to protect all Apple devices from extreme digital threats.

▲ Picture from: edcocp

At the same time, the Lockdown mode will be pushed to all Apple devices in the world along with the official versions of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura.

In doing so, it naturally also includes a small number of users who desperately need Lockdown mode to protect vulnerable to digital threats.

Apple's official website finally made an official definition for the protection function of Lockdown mode.

Basically, it revolves around information, network, Apple services, accessories, etc. In the future, Apple will continue to pour resources into the Lockdown mode and continue to increase protection measures.

In addition, Apple is also creating a new category in the Apple Security Bounty program, rewarding white people who find vulnerabilities in Lockdown mode and propose hardening measures. And doubled the corresponding bonus, reaching the industry cap of $2 million.

In addition to inspiring its own security programs, Apple also donated $10 million to the Dignity and Justice Fund to support organizations that investigate, expose, and prevent highly targeted cyberattacks.

After launching the feature, Apple received almost unanimous praise. Not only Apple, but technology companies such as Google and Meta have all suffered from digital threats from some hacker groups, although there are so-called initiatives.

But Apple's attitude is not to be secretive, but to frankly admit that a small number of its devices are being attacked by hacker groups, and also admit that Lockdown will bring about the lack of ordinary functions.

In addition, the Lockdown mode is very simple, just like setting an alarm clock, just a switch. Regardless of high-risk or ordinary people, as long as there is a need, it can be used without additional settings.

And, Lockdown mode is also a measure to popularize security to ordinary users, rather than turning off or destroying the phone roughly like in the movie.

Regarding the launch of Lockdown mode, Ivan Krstić, Apple's director of security engineering and architecture, said in a statement that "Lockdown is a breakthrough feature that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users from the rarest and most sophisticated attacks. ”

And these sophisticated and rare cyberattacks are not only in movies, but in reality, there are spyware makers such as NSO Group, Candiru, Cytrox, etc.

The espionage war is all around us

It may be different from what we think, hacking a mobile phone is not easy, nor can it be done easily by one person.

▲ Image from NSO Group from Israel: wired

The NSO Group, Candiru, which provides services, are more like a software manufacturer, they spend a lot of money and resources, use vulnerabilities to launch software, and then accept demand attacks.

From a small point of view, some are like Party A and Party B, and in a large scale, they are private contractors who go to the battlefield.

▲ Picture from: static

Among them, the famous NSO has developed tools such as Pegasus (Pegasus) for iOS and Android systems, which can lock intrusion targets through phone numbers.

They send a message to the target's phone, launching a "zero-click" attack whether the user clicks it or not, thereby controlling the device to become a tool for collecting and returning sensitive information.

According to previous reports from Bloomberg, U.S. government employees have been notified by Apple for malicious attacks in the past few years.

There are also users in another 150 countries and regions who have received Apple's notification, which is quite extensive and the number is growing.

Apple subsequently released a software update for Pegesus and sued the NSO Group, claiming that NSO's Pegasus spyware seriously violated the privacy of Apple users.

In fact, not only Apple, but also Microsoft and Google were invaded by NSO. Recently, Pegasus has been placed on a US trade blacklist to prevent Pegasus from being abused.

And now the launch of the Lockdown mode will undoubtedly continue to limit Pegasus' continued expansion.

It is foreseeable that after the launch of Apple's Lockdown mode, Google, Microsoft and Meta will take similar actions.

The game of invasion and anti-invasion

The original purpose of NSO Group's development of Pegasus was to counter terrorism, and its customers were initially identified as government agencies around the world.

▲ Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Apple Software

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software, said NSO is not regulated, nor does it have effective accountability mechanisms, but can spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance techniques to develop "notorious" software like Pegasus.

According to a 2016 report by The New York Times, NSOs can customize Pegasus software to suit users' needs and hack into a target's phone, a package that costs at least $500,000.

At the same time, NSO has also launched packages such as large order discounts, and also provides similar annual maintenance fees. At that time, NSO already had a complete set of profit chain.

NSO claims that customers are mostly countries and regions, but there is no so-called audit itself, and the authenticity is questionable.

In addition, in an interview with Calcalist, NSO Group CEO Shalev Hulio said that NSO has about 45 customers a year, with a total of about 100 Pegasus targets.

And stressed that if NSO found that customers were not using Pegasus as expected, NSO would cut off access between them, but there is no third-party regulator, such a statement is still questionable.

At the same time, from the leaked publicity materials, NSO does not believe that Pegasus will be affected by the upgrade of iOS and Android systems, because it is also using more loopholes to upgrade Pegasus' capabilities.

▲ Picture from: BBC

Pegasus’s goals are becoming more and more extensive, and the frequency is also increasing. Under the circumstances that ordinary software update and repair loopholes can no longer be blocked, Apple has introduced Lockdown mode to all users, which is like a game process.

And Apple has not stopped at the existing Lockdown mode, and will continue to add functions and block loopholes in the future.

The Pegasus developed by NSO is very expensive to use, and the cost of nearly one million dollars will obviously not be used on a large scale for ordinary users. Apple has launched a Lockdown mode for very small groups, which can be said to protect each user's data. It is an expression of the idea of ​​science and technology for good.

If it is bigger, Apple is using its own influence to promote the development of the security industry in a simple and effective way.

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