Apple will warn you if you are affected by spyware


Recently it became clear that Apple is filing a lawsuit against the NSO Group, maker of the well-known Pegasus spyware. Apple will take several measures to prevent the spread of spyware and in a support document the company explains how it will inform users about this.

Apple to warn users about spyware

These are so-called threat notifications that are sent when there are attacks with spyware that are supported by certain governments, including Pegasus. Such spyware targets a very specific group of users and has recently been misused against journalists and researchers. Despite the fact that the vast majority of users will never have to deal with these kinds of spyware attacks, Apple is going to take measures anyway.

Apple has built a system that detects similar attacks . Because these are very complicated attacks, this system is not watertight. This could therefore be a false alarm. Apple will warn you in two ways:

  • A notification will appear on the Apple ID website, stating that you have received a threat notification.
  • You will receive an email and message in iMessage from Apple at the email address and phone number associated with the Apple ID.

In the messages, Apple advises your next steps. Always make sure your devices are up to date, passcode protected, and have two-factor authentication set up for your Apple ID. Apple also advises only downloading apps from the App Store, using strong passwords and not clicking on attachments or links from unknown senders.

It is the first time that Apple has spoken out so openly about spyware. While you as a regular user will probably (and hopefully) never be affected by it, it's good to know what to do if you do get such a message. Also read our article about improving the security of your iPhone or iPad.