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iPhone users targeted in new spyware attacks – here’s how to protect yourself

Published Jul 11th, 2024 8:26AM EDT
iPhone 13 Pro Front
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Following a warning issued to users in 92 countries last April that they might have suffered from a spyware attack on their iPhones, Apple has sent a new message to its customers in 98 countries amid a possible new strike.

As spotted by TechCrunch, these threat notifications now have a different wording. For iPhone users possibly affected by the spyware attacks, Apple writes: “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.”

“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,” the message ends.

Previously, Cupertino would call these spyware attacks “state-sponsored,” but now they’re called “mercenary spyware attacks.”

Since 2021, the company has warned iPhone users when it detects a possible attack. According to the publication, users in India are among those affected by this strike. Over the past few months, journalists and politicians in the country have been suffering from Pegasus’ attacks.

While it’s unclear how these people got hacked, however, it’s important to note that if you’re one of them, you have already received a message from Apple.

Here’s how to prevent iPhone spyware attacks

It’s almost impossible to avoid iPhone spyware attacks when they’re targeted to a specific group. Still, Apple gives a few tips and tricks to keep most users protected – and some extra layers for those specific groups, such as high-level journalists and politicians:

  • Never connect to public Wi-Fi
  • Under Face ID & Passcodes, remove the ability to let accessories connect to your iPhone when locked.
  • Turn on Lockdown Mode

The last tip is focused on those who need an extra layer of protection. Below, you can discover how to turn on Lockdown Mode and when you should do that.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.