Pegasus snooping effect: Apple to alert users whenever iPhones get hacked by spyware

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 30, 2021, 04:58 PM(IST)

If Apple detects that a user’s device has been compromised by state-sponsored cyber attacks, the company will notify the user through iMessage and email Photograph:( Reuters )

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The latest move by the Cupertino-based tech behemoth comes after it filed a lawsuit against the Israel-based NSO Group, following revelations that it licensed its Pegasus software to governments and other nation-state clients for snooping

Apple has said that it will alert the users whenever their iPhones and other Apple products are targeted by “state-sponsored” spyware attacks. 

When Apple detects that a user has been targeted by state-sponsored hacking, it will send an iMessage and an email to the addresses on file, and a ‘Threat Notification’ will be displayed when the user signs into Apple ID, Apple said.

“State-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time. Detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete,” Apple said in a statement.

“It’s possible that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms, or that some attacks are not detected. We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behavior to evade detection in the future,” it added.

Also read | Pegasus snooping row: Apple files lawsuit against Israel's NSO

Apple has listed out some best practices for all users to better protect themselves from any malware or cyberattacks:

  • Update devices to the latest software, as that includes the latest security fixes
  • Protect devices with a passcode
  • Use two-factor authentication and a strong password for Apple ID
  • Install apps from the App Store
  • Use strong and unique passwords online
  • Don’t click on links or attachments from unknown senders

The latest move by the Cupertino-based tech behemoth comes after it filed a lawsuit against the Israel-based NSO Group, following revelations that it licensed its Pegasus software to governments and other nation-state clients to snoop on people.

Mounting more trouble for the NSO group, the United States has blacklisted the firm, restricting exports from American groups over claims that the Israeli firm “enabled foreign governments to conduct transnational repression.”

The NSO has consistently denied any wrongdoing and insisted its software is intended only for use by authorities in combating terrorism and other crimes.

"Pedophiles and terrorists can freely operate in technological safe-havens, and we provide governments the lawful tools to fight it. NSO group will continue to advocate for the truth," the firm said in a statement.

(With inputs from agencies)

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