Allarme spyware per iPhone: Apple avverte gli utenti in 92 Paesi thumbnail

Mercenary spyware alert on iPhone: Apple warns users

Apple sent a series of security alerts to ad on Wednesday iPhone users in ben 92 countrieswarning them about the risk of being targeted by mercenary spyware attacks. The notifications, which went out at 9pm Italian time, did not reveal the identity of the attackers nor the countries involved. But according to Cupertino, cyber mercenaries targeted specific users — supposedly for geopolitical reasons.

Mercenary spyware alert on iPhone: Apple warns users

Throughout (almost) the world, several iPhone users have received an alert from Apple itself. Cupertino engineers would have detected a possible cyber attack on the devices. Not the now all too common malware, perhaps caught by opening a wrong link on your smartphone. A real one targeted attack against the device of the people involved, likely targeted for their role or work. Although there is no confirmation, appears to be a “state-sponsored” attack, promoted by a nation with espionage purposes rather than by common cybercriminals.

The text of the notice (we translate the one reported by TechCrunch) reads: “Apple has detected that you have been targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-. Chances are this attack is on you targeting you specifically because of who you are or what you do.

Targeted attacks on Apple users

The company therefore invites you to take the warning very seriously, while admitting that it is never possible to have absolute certainty in detecting this type of threat. But this is not an isolated event. According to what is reported on Apple's support page, updated just yesterday, the iPhone manufacturer sends similar notifications several times a year, reaching users in excess of 150 countries from 2021.

Apple Campus a CupertinoApple Campus a Cupertino

In 2021, Amnesty International had detected traces of the spyware Pegasusdeveloped by the Israeli company NSO Group, on the iPhones of politicians, activists and journalists from around the world. Apple then sued the group, which according to Apple's lawyers should have ensured that tools of this type did not target civilians in democratic countries.

Risks for iPhone, risks for democracy

Most iPhone users don't have to fear these types of alerts. Anyone who does not have a job in the political or information fields will not be targeted by these highly precise attacks. Apple itself has specified that attacks such as those exploiting Pegasus “are exceptionally rare and much more sophisticated than the normal activities of cybercriminals or consumer malware.” However, even those who won't see their iPhone hacked should worry about it the impact these attacks could have on democracy.

The timing of the warnings is sobering, given that, as the TechCrunch article points out, many nations are preparing for electoral appointments in the coming months. Several tech companies have already warned about the growing efforts of some states to influence the outcome of the vote, especially the European and American ones. Apple, however, did not want to comment on the reasons behind sending the notifications at this specific time.

Apple logo, spyware on iPhonesApple logo, spyware on iPhones

The Cupertino company, however, underlines how the notifications represent “alerts with high certainty” of being individually targeted. So, if you are among the few who have received this notification, you better act accordingly. This type of spyware can be particularly difficult to remove, but you can use Apple's Isolation mode to ensure you don't share important information with hackers. However, keep in mind that this mode greatly limits the use of iPhones: it is best to contact Apple directly for support.

Don't miss this week on

💡 Fastweb enters the energy market: Fastweb Energia electricity offers
🤖 Apple wants to bring robots into our homes
🎸 What is the Elvis Act, which wants to protect artists from AI
📺 The success of free streaming TV channels: Interview with Marcos Milanez from Rakuten TV
✒️ Our unmissable Caffellattech newsletter! Sign up here
🎧 But did you know that Fjona also has her own newsletter?! Sign up to SuggeriPODCAST!
📺 You can also find Fjona on RAI Play con Touch – Fingerprint!
💌 Let's solve your heart problems with B1NARY
🎧 Listen to our unmissable podcast Tech life
💸And you can find some interesting offers on Telegram!

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.