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Apple warns users exposed to state-sponsored spyware attacks

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As part of Apple’s initiative to combat state-sponsored spyware, and more specifically as part of the monitoring and monitoring of Apple device owners, the company will send users to users when they appear to be the target of such attacks. We have introduced a warning system.

On Tuesday, Apple announced that it had filed a proceeding against NSO Group and its parent company for the creation and deployment of Pegasus spyware.

Developed superficially to support law enforcement campaigns, Pegasus relies on vulnerabilities such as the currently patched FORCE DENTRY exploit to access microphones and cameras on iOS and Android devices, as well as onboard data. Install a monitoring package that allows you to. This tool is indiscriminately sold to governments with a poor track record of human rights that have been used to monitor journalists, activists, researchers, politicians, and other targets of interest in the past.

Apple said it was informing the “few users” targeted by FORCEDENTRY and promised to continue to warn customers if future attacks were detected.

“Whenever Apple discovers an activity that matches a country-sponsored spyware attack, it will follow industry best practices to notify affected users,” the company said.

The system is already active because Wednesday’s Reuters report details the alert messages sent to at least six Thai activists and researchers.

Apple describes threat notifications in its support documentation. The unique nature of state-sponsored attacks (expensive, complex, highly targeted) prevents most users from being exposed, but Apple has affected one of its customers. If so, you can expect to be notified in two ways. Alerts sent via email and iMessage to the top of the Apple ID website, and to the addresses and phone numbers associated with your Apple ID.

Apple’s notifications never click links, open files, install apps or profiles, or provide you with your Apple ID password or verification code by email or phone. Recipients of threat notifications can access the Apple Identity Portal to verify their authenticity. This portal will display the same alert if the message is genuine.

Technology giants admit that false alarms can occur and the system does not detect all attacks. As a precautionary measure, users are encouraged to follow the following best practices:

Update your device to the latest software as it contains the latest security fixes. Protect your device with a passcode. Use two-factor authentication and a strong password for your Apple ID. Install the app from the App Store. Use a strong and unique password online. Please do not click the link.Attachments from unknown senders

In addition to the notification service, Apple is providing technical, threat intelligence, and engineering assistance to Citizen Lab, the group that first identified FORCEDENTRY, and will provide the same assistance to similar security research organizations. The company also donates $ 10 million in proceedings against NSO and damages to cyber surveillance research and advocacy groups.

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