Apple has issued an urgent warning about spyware attacks in 98 countries

Apple has issued an urgent warning about spyware attacks in 98 countries

Apple has warned users in 98 countries that they could be targets of mercenary spyware attacks, similar to a spyware attack warning that reached 92 countries in April.

According to its website, Apple has been issuing these notices since 2021 and has reached over 150 countries.

The alert, sent directly to suspected targets of the attack, read: “Apple has determined that you are the target of a money-grabbing spyware attack that is attempting to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-.”

The message continued: “This attack likely targets you specifically because of who you are or what you do. While it is never possible to achieve absolute certainty in detecting such attacks, Apple has high confidence in this warning – please take it seriously.”

Who is responsible for the Apple spyware attack?

In addition to the April threats, the current situation closely resembles an attack in October, when warning messages were sent to several journalists and politicians in India. Human rights organization Amnesty International later discovered that many journalists’ iPhones were running Pegasus, a military-grade spyware. It is currently unknown whether Pegasus is responsible for the latest attack.

Pegasus was developed by the NSO Group, an Israeli cyber intelligence company. The spyware is so effective that it is classified as a weapon by the Israeli government.

Apple filed a lawsuit against NSO Group in 2021 over Pegasus, saying the program was used to “attack a small number of Apple users worldwide with malicious malware and spyware.”

Apple’s website on the subject highlights the targeted nature of these spyware attacks: “Such attacks are far more complex than normal cybercrime and consumer malware activities because greedy spyware attackers use extraordinary resources to target a very small number of specific individuals and their devices.”

In January, NSO Group attempted to dismiss Apple’s lawsuit, but a federal judge denied the motion, saying, “The anti-hacking purpose of the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) fits perfectly with Apple’s allegations, and NSO has failed to prove otherwise.”

Photo credit: created by Ideogram