Apple Warns of New Spyware Attacks Targeting iPhone Users in 98 Countries

Written by Lore Apostol
Published 8 hours ago

iPhone users across 98 countries have received Apple’s threat notifications on July 10 about potential spyware attacks attempting to remotely compromise iPhones associated with users’ Apple IDs, as TechCrunch reports. The cyberattackers’ identities and the affected countries were not disclosed, but press reports say users in India received the recent Apple warnings.

The message Apple sent to affected customers mentions that users’ identity or occupation could have a role in this attack’s motive. The tech giant encourages receivers to take the warning of such attacks seriously, which Apple detects relying on internal threat intelligence information and investigations.

Previously presented as state-sponsored attacks in Apple’s communications, these incidents are now depicted as mercenary spyware attacks.

Apple has been regularly sending notifications to users in over 150 countries since 2021. This is the tech giant's second such threat alert campaign this year after a similar warning message was sent to users in 92 countries in April. Several journalists and politicians in India received similar warnings from Apple in October last year.

These attacks are compared to the Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, which exploited an iMessage zero-day a few years ago.

The iPhone includes a special feature called Lockdown Mode that protects the device against dangerous spyware, but it can render some features unavailable while it is activated.

Similarly, Google Pixel also had an actively exploited elevation of privilege vulnerability that was fixed in a June 2024 Pixel update bulletin with security vulnerabilities and functional improvements. 

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