Home Apple has issued urgent spyware attack warning in 98 countries

Apple has issued urgent spyware attack warning in 98 countries


  • Apple warns users in 98 nations about mercenary spyware attacks, similar to alerts issued in April across 92 countries.
  • Warnings are sent directly to targeted users, emphasizing the severity and high confidence in these threats.
  • Previous attacks involved Pegasus spyware by NSO Group, leading Apple to file a lawsuit against the company in 2021.

Apple has warned users across 98 nations that they may be the subject of mercenary spyware attacks, similar to a warning about spyware attacks 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 warning, which was sent directly to users thought to be targets of the attack, read: “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-,”.

The message continued: “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.”

Who is responsible for the Apple spyware attack?

As well as the April threats, the situation presently closely resembles an attack in October, when alerts were sent to multiple journalists and politicians in India. The human rights organization Amnesty International later discovered that Pegasus, a military-grade spyware, was present on the iPhones of many of the journalists. It is currently unknown if Pegasus is responsible for the latest attack.

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

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

Apple’s webpage on the issues highlights the targeted nature of these spyware attacks, saying “Such attacks are vastly more complex than regular cybercriminal activity and consumer malware, as mercenary spyware attackers apply exceptional resources to target a very small number of specific individuals and their devices.”

In January, NSO Group attempted to have Apple’s lawsuit dismissed, but a federal judge denied the motion, stating “The anti-hacking purpose of the CFAA [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act] fits Apple’s allegations to a T, and NSO has not shown otherwise.”

Featured image credit: generated by Ideogram

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Ali Rees
Tech journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist. They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games. During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of…

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