iPhone Users Targeted by Pegasus-Like Spyware in Over 90 Countries

Apple Sends New Spyware Alert To iPhone Users

New Delhi: In a significant cybersecurity development, iPhone users across India and 91 other countries have been alerted by Apple about a potential spyware attack that could be as perilous as the infamous Pegasus spyware developed by NSO Group. The alert, issued on April 11 at 12:30 AM IST, is part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to inform users of major security breaches that could compromise their devices.

Apple’s notification system has been activated for users in a total of 92 countries, with India being a significant target. The company has a history of sending out such alerts when it detects substantial intrusions, and to date, notifications have been sent to users in over 150 countries. The alerts are delivered via email and iMessage to the contact details linked to the user’s Apple ID.

The content of the notification is stark, warning users that they are likely being targeted by a “mercenary spyware attack” aimed at remotely compromising their iPhones. This type of attack is not random; it is highly targeted, often focusing on individuals because of their identity or occupation.

Despite the severity of the situation, Apple maintains confidentiality regarding the origin of these attacks. The company’s policy is not to attribute the spyware attacks to any specific group or region due to their “extreme cost, sophistication, and worldwide nature,” which places them among the most advanced digital threats currently known.

The advisory also highlights the rarity and complexity of mercenary spyware attacks like those conducted using Pegasus. Such attacks are not common cybercrimes but are highly sophisticated operations, often backed by considerable resources and specifically aimed at penetrating the devices of targeted individuals for clear motives.

In response to the threat, Apple has provided crucial advice to affected users. They are urged to immediately enable the lockdown mode on their iPhones, update to the latest iOS version 17.4.1, ensure all other Apple devices are updated, and exercise caution by not engaging with messages or links from unknown sources. These measures are recommended to mitigate further risks and prevent potential data loss.

Apple Sends New Spyware Alert To iPhone Users

This incident underscores the evolving landscape of cyber threats and the importance of vigilance and proactive measures in digital security.