Apple’s iOS 17.4 Update Will Turbo-Charge New iPhone Security Feature | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Apple’s iOS 17.4 update is coming soon, along with seismic changes for EU-based users that will allow the sideloading of apps for the first time ever. Now, the first beta of iOS 17.4 has revealed that the iPhone upgrade will also enhance Apple’s Stolen Device Protection feature with more options for users.

As I’ve discussed previously, Stolen Device Protection is a superb new security feature that stops attackers getting hold of your data if they are able to steal your iPhone. It came after a Wall Street Journal article found thieves were able to spy on users’ iPhone passcodes, then steal their devices in a bid to drain their bank accounts.

When turned on, Stolen Device Protection ensures you can only perform actions such as turning off Lost Mode or accessing passwords by authenticating with biometrics such as Face ID or Touch ID. When you change your Apple ID or security settings, it incurs an hour’s delay. However, in iOS 17.3, the delay is only enacted when you are away from familiar locations.

Turbo-charging this feature further, iOS 17.4 allows people to choose to always require a security delay when changing security settings, 9to5Mac reported.

In addition, iOS 17.4 changes some of the UI for Stolen Device Protection—it will now have its own dedicated page with a toggle switch inside Settings > Face ID & Passcode.

Why Apple’s iOS 17.4 Will Be A Game-Changer

Stolen Device Protection is a great feature already and the iOS 17.4 changes will enhance it some more. Beyond that, Apple’s iOS 17.4 will be a game-changer for everyone—not just those based in the EU.

The iOS 17.4 app sideloading changes see the iPhone maker opening up its walled garden for the first time. “Apple Inc.’s sweeping overhaul of its iPhone software, App Store and Safari browser in the European Union is more than just a local change,” Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote in his Power On newsletter. “It’s a peek at the future of the platform and one that the company will likely have to adopt globally.”

Apple is, of course, only doing this because it has to—due to regulation the Digital Markets Act—but the implications are still the same. The move will see the creation of an entire new ecosystem, with App Marketplaces approved by Apple to sell apps to users, for the first time outside of the official App Store.

It’s what some Apple users have wanted for a long time, while others stay with the iPhone maker rather than Android because they like the safety of a closed ecosystem. Outside of the EU, people will still have this, but it might not stay that way for long.

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