Apple announces end-to-end encrypted iCloud backups, security key support for Apple ID, etc.

Apple plans to let users more tightly lock photos and notes stored on its iCloud service and require a physical security key when signing in from a new device, it said Wednesday.

Upcoming options, plus another security measure for AppleThe company says its iMessage chat program, which specifically targets celebrities, journalists, activists, politicians, and other high-profile individuals, is heavily targeted by hackers.

The Iphone manufacturers say that although they are not aware of violations against icloud server or iMessage exchange, hacking attempts are on the rise.

According to Apple, iCloud currently protects 14 categories of sensitive data with end-to-end encryption technology. These include passwords in iCloud Keychain and Health data. The company announced support for end-to-end encrypted backups, bringing the total number of protected data types to 23, including iCloud Backups, Notes, and Photos.

US users will be able to activate Advanced Data Protection for iCloud storage for free later this year. With this feature enabled, Apple can’t help users recover photos, notes, voice memos, and about 20 other types of data if they forget their password. It will expand globally next year.

The option to require a security key to be plugged into a new device to access your Apple account is expected to launch next year. Alphabet’s Rivals Google already supports such hardware keys, which are certified by the industry body FIDO and cost around $25 (about Rs 2,000).

On iMessage, chats between users who enable the new Contact Key Verification next year will receive automatic alerts about potentially unrecognized devices snooping on the exchange. Users can also manually verify their communications are secure by matching security codes. Secure chat services like Signal offer comparable features.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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