Apple Warns iPhone Users Globally of Mercenary Spyware Attacks

Apple id threat notification

Apple has issued a global alert to iPhone users in 92 countries, warning them about potential targeting by mercenary spyware attacks.

The notifications were sent out at 12pm PDT on Wednesday, following Apple’s detection of attempts to compromise iPhones linked to specific Apple IDs through spyware efforts.

According to the warnings seen by TechCrunch, Apple’s alert said, “Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-.”

“This attack is likely targeting you specifically because of who you are or what you do. Although it’s never possible to achieve absolute certainty when detecting such attacks, Apple has high confidence in this warning — please take it seriously,” said the alert.

Apple says since 2021, it has alerted users in over 150 countries about similar threats multiple times a year, as per an updated support page.

Spyware attacks using Pegasus software from Israeli firm NSO Group has been a growing concern. Amnesty International previously reported the discovery of Pegasus on the iPhones of several prominent journalists in India, highlighting the global reach and impact of these spyware campaigns.

“We are unable to provide more information about what caused us to send you this notification, as that may help mercenary spyware attackers adapt their behavior to evade detection in the future,” says Apple’s alert. Previously, wording of “state-sponsored” has been replaced with “mercenary spyware attacks.”

“Mercenary spyware attacks, such as those using Pegasus from the NSO Group, are exceptionally rare and vastly more sophisticated than regular cybercriminal activity or consumer malware,” noted the warning.

What to do if you receive a threat notification from Apple? “We strongly suggest that you enlist expert help, such as the rapid-response emergency security assistance provided by the Digital Security Helpline at the non-profit Access Now. Apple threat notification recipients can contact the Digital Security Helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” says Apple’s website.

Back in 2022, Apple introduced Lockdown Mode, an optional protection feature for iPhone, iPad and Mac to protect users from targeted spyware and cyberattacks.

P.S. Help support us and independent media here: Buy us a beer, Buy us a coffee, or use our Amazon link to shop.