Here’s how Apple will warn you if you’re under attack by state-sponsored spyware

Yesterday, Apple announced it was suing the NSO Group, in part for creating Pegasus, a spy tool used to target politicians, journalists and others. The company has also released a support document stressing that it will warn people if they are deemed to have been attacked.

The new document, first spotted by MacRumors, describes security issues caused by state-sponsored spyware on Apple devices – including the new iPhone 13.

Apple’s threat alerts are designed to inform and assist users who may have been targeted by state-sponsored attackers. These users are individually targeted for who they are or what they do. Unlike traditional cybercriminals, state-sponsored attackers use tremendous resources to target a very small number of certain individuals and their devices, making these attacks much more difficult to detect and prevent. State-sponsored attacks are very complex, cost millions of dollars to develop and often have a short duration. The vast majority of users will never be the target of such attacks.

Apple further says it will notify people that they are the target by sending email and iMessages, while a message will also appear when they sign in to their Apple ID on the Apple website. No links will be sent nor will any credentials be requested.

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Apple also offers some ideas on how people can try to ensure they don’t fall victim to such attacks.

  • Update your devices to the latest software, as this includes the latest security updates
  • Password protect devices
  • Use two-factor authentication and a strong Apple ID password
  • Install apps from the App Store
  • Use strong and unique online passwords
  • Do not click on links or attachments from unknown senders

Security is one of the best features of the iPhone that Apple does not hesitate to market, but even iPhones are not guaranteed to be safe from such attacks.

Those who are interested in learning more and learning what to do if they think they are the target, can now read the complete support document.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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