Security Stop Press : Apple Warns of Mercenary Spyware Attacks In 92 Countries

Apple has reported sending threat notifications to iPhone users in 92 countries, warning them that they may have been targeted by mercenary spyware attacks. These types of attacks use software designed to infiltrate and monitor computer systems or mobile devices and are typically “state-sponsored” and are used for intelligence gathering, surveillance of dissidents, journalist, and politicians, for corporate espionage, and more.

Apple reports sending these kinds of notifications multiple times a year and says it has notified users to such threats in over 150 countries since 2021. The notifications sent by Apple contain parts such as “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-,” and “This attack is likely targeting you specifically because of who you are or what you do.”

Apple relies on its own internal threat-intelligence information and investigations to detect these attacks and is keen to point out that mercenary spyware attacks such as those using Pegasus from the NSO Group, are still very rare.