Apple Sends Out Threat Alerts, Warns iPhone Users in 92 Countries About Mercenary Spyware Attacks

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 11, 2024 10:39 AM EDT

Apple alerted iPhone users in 92 countries Wednesday that they may have been a target of mercenary spyware attacks. The notifications were sent at 12 p.m. PT. However, Apple remained mum on who was behind the attacks or which nations got alerts.

Apple Issues Spyware Attacks Alerts to iPhone Users

In a notice sent to affected customers, the tech giant said: "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-," TechCrunch reported.

"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," it added.

Apple informed affected clients that they could not share any details about what caused them to send the warning since doing so may allow mercenary spyware attackers to change their tactics and avoid detection in the future.

Read Also: Apple CEO Tim Cook Slammed by Critics Over Remarks Praising China

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(Photo : Laurenz Heymann on Unsplash)

Apple Sends These Kind of Alerts to Over 150 Nations Since 2021

The spyware alerts come as many countries prepare for elections. In recent months, many tech companies have warned about the increasing state-sponsored attempts to influence electoral results. However, Apple's alerts did not comment on their timing.

TechCrunch reported that Apple has removed any references to the attackers being "state-sponsored" and replaced them with "mercenary spyware attacks" in its alert.

According to its support page, Apple sends these kinds of alerts several times a year, and it has done so in over 150 countries since 2021.

The company sent a similar warning to other Indian journalists and lawmakers last October. Afterwards, nonprofit advocacy group Amnesty International reported that it had found NSO Group's spyware on the iPhones of high-profile journalists in India.

Read More: Two Critical US Systems Hacked, Forcing US Cybersecurity Agency To Shut Them Down

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