How Apple’s Lockdown Mode Can Be Unsafe While Browsing

Apple is set to introduce the new Lockdown mode with iOS 16. This new feature from the Cupertino-based tech giant is expected to significantly increase the security of the iPhone. However, a recent report claims that the way this feature works can reduce device privacy when browsing online.
What is Apple’s Lockdown Mode?
Lockdown mode is an “extreme privacy setting” designed for high-risk groups such as – journalists, politicians and other important figures – who could be targeted by countries. or other cyber attackers. This feature disables many functions like – message attachment blocking and web technology.
How this feature can make browsing unsafe
According to a report by Motherboard (Vice), Lock Mode’s feature-restricting method can help websites figure out if someone is using this high-security setting. The report mentions that websites can detect if some common features like – custom fonts – are missing on the device. According to the report, this process, known as fingerprinting, relies on collecting information about the user’s browser, device, and other metrics.

Considering that, websites have the ability to determine a user’s IP address by connecting them to their iPhone Lock Status. The report claims that this vulnerability can eventually turn this high-risk security mode into a privacy risk, and explains the feature as “anonymous online transactions with greater security”.
Another AppleInsider report suggests that Lock Mode in Apple devices “makes you safer but also makes you easier to identify in a crowd.” A proof of concept has also been demonstrated that it is possible to detect if a user is in Locked Mode for about “five minutes”, the report notes.
How Websites Detect Lock Mode
Meanwhile, the report made it clear that the ability of websites to detect that a device is in Locked Mode is not due to any error, but is a result of the way the system is designed to do so. . Iphone safer. There are ways to mitigate these privacy restrictions, the report adds.
According to the report, privacy-focused platforms are similar to Tor Browsers have similar problems. As Tor reports, users have put a lot of effort into minimizing website traces, users of this browser often become “outstanding” because their browser is the only one with a specific set of settings. .

Apple received the situation
The report also mentioned that Apple was aware of this vulnerability and explained that the feature intentionally disables web fonts to reduce the online attack surface. The company mentioned that it doesn’t make sense to make an exception for custom fonts due to the threat model that Lock Mode addresses.
Another security researcher has stated that if enough users enable Locked Mode, they will mingle with others and it will be difficult for websites to detect any particular target.

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