Apple warns iPhone users of “mercenary spyware attack”

Anurag Singh
Apple Store

Apple sent threat notifications to iPhone users in 92 countries on Wednesday, warning them that they may be getting targeted by a “mercenary spyware attack.”

The Cupertino company sent threat notifications at around 12pm PT on Wednesday April 10, 2024, without revealing the threat, or the affected countries.

“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-,” reads a notification reviewed by TechCrunch.

“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,” Apple added.

Apple did not provide any information about what caused it to send these notifications. The company believes disclosing more information may help mercenary spyware attackers adapt their behavior to evade detection in the future.

On its support page, Apple describes mercenary spyware attacks as “some of the most advanced digital threats in existence today.” The company says it sends threat notifications multiple times a year.

Mercenary spyware attacks are well-funded and utilize massive resources, so they don’t target users on a large scale. Instead, they focus on high-value individuals such as politicians, journalists, and human rights activists.

If you receive a threat notification, Apple recommends turning on the lockdown mode and getting in touch with a security expert.