Apple offers $2 million reward for cracking iOS 16 lock mode

Apple officially launched a new feature called "Lockdown Mode" at this year's WWDC, which was launched with the iOS 16 system and aimed to combat "Pegasus", etc. malicious software. Apple will provide the industry's highest $2 million (about 13.52 million yuan) bonus to encourage outsiders to crack iOS 16's locked mode.

Locked mode is an extremely strict security defense mode. The main application scenario is when users suspect that their mobile phone has been implanted with Trojan horses or monitored by unknown programs. When the iPhone is in lock mode, image attachments and link previews in most iMessage text messages will be blocked; invitations initiated through Apple services will be blocked, such as FaceTime calls from unknown numbers; iPhone data will be blocked until the device is unlocked and users cannot install new remote management software; JavaScript just-in-time compilation will be disabled in the Safari browser; description files will not be installed. Lockdown mode will be available for developer testing this summer, with an official release this fall.

"While the vast majority of users will never fall victim to a targeted cyberattack, we still need to protect all users of Apple products," Ivan Krsti, Apple's director of security engineering and architecture, said in a statement. "Lockdown Mode is A breakthrough feature that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users from attacks."

Mobile phone spyware called "Pegasus" has invaded more than 50 countries around the world, and the number of people who may be monitored is as high as 50,000. Once "Pegasus" invades a mobile phone, it can extract text messages, photos, and emails, record calls, and remotely turn on the phone's microphone and camera without the user's knowledge, posing a great threat to user privacy.

Pegasus was developed by Israeli software surveillance company NSO to spy on more influential people such as journalists, lawyers, and politicians. NSO Group has been sued by Apple and placed on a trade blacklist by U.S. officials.

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