What you should know about the alert from Apple

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Apple sent out iPhone security alerts to people across 92 countries on Wednesday, warning that their iPhones had been remotely targeted in a mercenary spyware attack.
“Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack,” the company said in a threat notification email seen by CNET.
Read More: Apple’s Lockdown Mode: Why There’s a New Level of Security for your iPhone Mercenary attacks, compared to cybercrimes or consumer malware, stand out due to their rarity and complexity.
“If your device is compromised by a targeted mercenary spyware attack, the attacker may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications, or even the camera and microphone,” the threat notification email said.
It’s unclear whether iPhone owners in the US were targeted; an Apple spokesperson had no comment beyond what was shared in the notification email.
In a help page published Wednesday, the company offered advice on what to do if you receive a threat notification.
“Apple threat notification recipients can contact the Digital Security Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week through their website.”
The company also referenced Pegasus, sophisticated spyware developed by Israel’s NSO group, when notifying people of the latest mercenary attack.

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On Wednesday, Apple issued security alerts for iPhones to users in 92 countries, informing them that mercenary spyware had remotely targeted their devices.

According to an email that CNET obtained containing a threat notification, “Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack.”. “You are probably the specific target of this attack because of who you are or what you do. “.

See Also: Apple’s Lockdown Mode: The Reasons Your iPhone Needs a Higher Security Level.

Because they are more uncommon and sophisticated than consumer malware or cybercrimes, mercenary attacks are noticeable. These carefully planned, multi-million dollar attacks target a select group of individuals. The company stated in the email that the targeting is global and ongoing.

The threat notification email stated, “If your device is compromised by a targeted mercenary spyware attack, the attacker may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications, or even the camera and microphone.”.

Continue reading: 2024’s Best iPhone.

The Economic Times, an Indian business publication, broke the story first, claiming that India was among the impacted nations. An Apple representative could only comment on the information provided in the notification email, so it’s unclear if iPhone owners in the US were specifically targeted.

The company provided guidance on how to respond to a threat notification on a help page that was released on Wednesday.

Apple advised “you to seek professional assistance, such as the quick emergency security helpline provided by the nonprofit Access Now Digital Security Helpline.”. “Those who receive Apple threat notifications can get in touch with the Digital Security Helpline via their website around-the-clock, seven days a week. ****.

The organization informing people about the most recent mercenary attack also mentioned Pegasus, a highly advanced spyware program created by Israel’s NSO group.

See also: How iOS Lockdown Mode Can Keep You Safe From Online Threats. What to Do With It.

With the intention of holding the NSO Group responsible for monitoring and identifying Apple users through Pegasus, Apple launched a lawsuit against the group in November 2021. Prior to alerting the user, this spyware had infected victims’ devices—including iPhones—without warning them. Pegasus has been used by a number of organizations to monitor journalists, attorneys, political dissidents, and human rights activists, according to several reports that cyberwatchdogs have found since 2016.

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