Renewed Spyware Concerns Arise with Apple iPhone Security Alert

Apple has issued a security alert to iOS device users in 92 countries, warning them of being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack. The email notification from Apple states that the attack is aimed at the individual because of who they are or what they do. The malware used in such attacks is believed to be legitimate and typically deployed by nation states against specific targets. Over the past few years, private companies, including NSO, have developed malware and targeted activists, journalists, diplomats, and politicians. Apple sends threat notifications on a regular basis, but no longer attributes the attacks to any specific organizations or countries. The company has also stopped using the term “state-sponsored” in response to pressure from the Indian government. The notifications provide details on steps that targeted users can take to protect their devices, such as enabling Lockdown Mode and seeking assistance from the Digital Security Helpline. It is recommended that users keep their iOS devices updated, use strong credentials and two-factor authentication, install legitimate apps from the App Store, and avoid clicking on unsolicited links or attachments from unknown senders. Apple users are warned that default settings on iOS are not enough to protect against sophisticated intrusions like mercenary spyware.

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