Apple warns iPhone users in 98 countries about spyware attacks

Apple has sent a new round of threat alerts to iPhone users in 98 countries, warning them of potential mercenary spyware attacks. It is the company’s second such warning campaign this year, following a similar alert sent to users in 92 countries in April.

Apple has been sending out these alerts regularly since 2021, reaching users in more than 150 countries, according to a support document on the company’s website. The latest alerts, issued Wednesday, did not reveal the identities of the attackers or the countries where users received the alerts.

“Apple has detected that you have been targeted by a spyware attack that attempts to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-,” the company wrote in the alert to affected customers.

“This attack is likely specifically targeted at you because of who you are or what you do. While it’s never possible to be absolutely certain in detecting these types of attacks, Apple has a high level of confidence in this warning — please take it seriously,” Apple added in the text.

Users in India are among those who have received the latest threat alerts from Apple, according to user testimonies. In October, Apple sent similar alerts to several journalists and politicians in the country. Amnesty International, a human rights organization, later reported that it had discovered the presence of Pegasus, a highly invasive spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, on the iPhones of prominent Indian journalists.

In communications to affected users, Apple emphasized the sensitive nature of its threat identification methods and warned that releasing additional details could potentially help attackers evade future detection.

Apple has also made a notable change in its language since last year, choosing to describe these incidents as “mercenary spyware attacks” instead of the previously used term “state-sponsored” attacks.

Apple said it relies solely on “internal threat intelligence and research to detect such attacks.”

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