Apple will add a "Lockdown Mode" to its upcoming iPhone and Mac software to disable features that help combat government-grade spyware.

Tech giant says new technology gives "maximum optional security" for journalists, activists, and human rights advocates targeted by nation states deploying heavy malware.

After years of persistent, successful attacks against thousands of iPhone owners worldwide, the feature finally becomes available.

Spyware producers including NSO Group, Candiru, and Cytrox design exploits to breach a device's security for government clients.

Apple is quick to deliver security upgrades for its devices, but efforts to strengthen iPhone security have not always been successful.

Government-grade malware can frequently read messages, call records, download images, secretly record phone calls and the device's microphone,

Also, capture photos using the phone's camera, access the victim's passwords, and monitor the phone's location in real time, according to security researchers.

When "Lockdown Mode" is implemented, users who are the target of targeted hacking attempts can instantly disable a number of features,

Such as limiting what code can run in apps and on websites and vastly limit other areas of Apple software,

Such as iMessage and FaceTime, which have been abused by spyware makers to create exploits able to plant spyware on iPhones.

Lockdown Mode prevents iPhones and Macs from installing configuration profiles, which companies use to deploy settings and security across fleets of devices.

When Lockdown Mode is activated, wired connections are also disabled, prohibiting hardware forensic tools from downloading data from a device.

Apple said the new lockdown feature "further tightens device protections and severely limits some functionalities, significantly decreasing the attack surface"

Apple claimed the functionality will emerge in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura later this year with new iPhones.