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

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

Yesterday, Apple announced that they are suing the NSO Group, in part because of their creation of Pegasus, a spyware tool that has been used to target politicians, journalists and more. The company has also released a support document highlighting how it will warn people if they are believed to be under attack.

The new document, first discovered by MacRumors, outlines the security issues caused by state-sponsored spyware across Apple devices – including the new iPhone 13.

Apple threat notifications are designed to inform and assist users who may have been affected by state-sponsored attackers. These users are individually targeted because of who they are or what they do. Unlike traditional cybercriminals, state-sponsored attackers use extraordinary resources to target a very small number of specific individuals and their entities, making these attacks much harder to detect and prevent. State-sponsored attacks are very complex, cost millions of dollars to develop, and often have a short shelf life. The vast majority of users will never be affected by such attacks.

Apple goes on to say that it will let people know that they are a target by sending them emails and iMessages, while also displaying a message when they sign in with their Apple ID on the Apple website. No links will be sent and no credentials will be requested.

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Apple also offers some ideas on how people can try to ensure that they do not fall victim to such attacks.

  • Update devices to the latest software as it includes the latest security fixes
  • Protect devices with a password
  • Use two-factor authentication and a strong Apple ID password
  • Install apps from the App Store
  • Use strong and unique passwords online
  • Do not click on links or attachments from unknown senders

Security is one of the best iPhone features that Apple is not pale in marketing, but even iPhones are not guaranteed to be safe from attacks like this.

Those who are interested in learning more and figuring out what to do if they think they are a target can read the full support document now.

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