Jobs’ Mob describes the new feature as "an extreme, optional protection for the very small number of users who face grave, targeted threats to their digital security."
Apple's head of Security Engineering and Architecture Ivan Krstić said that the Lockdown feature is designed specifically for the small number of users who may experience "highly targeted cyberattacks."
"Apple makes the most secure mobile devices on the market. Lockdown Mode is a groundbreaking capability that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users from even the rarest, most sophisticated attacks. While the vast majority of users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are. That includes continuing to design defenses specifically for these users, as well as supporting researchers and organisations around the world doing critically important work in exposing mercenary companies that create these digital attacks."
Now while we have doubts that a company which can’t write clock software which tells the time can shut out some of the serious bad boys of hacking, Apple is prepared to put its money were its mouth is and is offering a $2 million bounty for any researcher who can bypass this protection.
Apple is making a $10 million grant to the Dignity and Justice Fund to help "support organizations that investigate, expose, and prevent highly targeted cyberattacks."
Of course, if anyone does break Apple’s security we will never know about it because handing over $2 million for a bounty is almost certainly likely to come with an NDA. Equally, if Apple is hacked by bad actors were are unlikely to know either because they will be making a fortune flogging the software to governments who are likely to want to use it to hack the heads off journalists. It would be a very brave or naive journalist who puts their faith in Apple's security to protect their heads from the Saudi, Israeli, Turkish, or US governments.