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In iOS 17.4, Apple turns to post-quantum cryptography to future-proof iMessage security.

Apple’s upcoming iOS 17.4 update is expected to bring some major changes to iPhone security. Alongside support for alternative app stores and payments in the EU, a handful of new emojis, and virtual numbers for Apple Cash cards, one standout feature is a significant security upgrade for iMessage.

In a recent post on its Security Research blog, Apple announced its plans to introduce post-quantum cryptography Level 3 (PQ3) to iMessage. This advanced encryption protocol is touted as having the strongest security properties of any messaging protocol currently available.

In simple terms, PQ3 enhances the security of iMessage by using two symmetric keys, making it extremely challenging for hackers to breach. Even in the face of sophisticated cyber attacks, this encryption ensures robust protection for user communications.

While Signal recently upgraded its security to Level 2 with PQXDH support, Apple’s implementation of PQ3 takes iMessage security to a whole new level. This new protocol is crucial for safeguarding against both existing and future threats, including zero-click government attacks like the notorious Pegasus spyware.

Apple plans to introduce the new security protocol with the public releases of iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, macOS 14.4, and watchOS 10.4. The protocol is already available in developer and public beta releases, underscoring Apple’s dedication to staying ahead of evolving security challenges.

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