Apple Warns Select Indian Users of Potential Pegasus-like Spyware Threat

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Apple Warns Select Indian Users of Potential Pegasus-like Spyware Threat

Apple has issued a warning to a select group of users in India regarding a potential security threat resembling a Pegasus-like spyware attack. The company informed users about the spyware's attempt to remotely control targeted devices, highlighting the sophistication and rarity of mercenary spyware attacks like those using Pegasus from the NSO Group. This type of spyware, developed by an Israeli company, is designed to target specific individuals and is considered exceptionally rare and sophisticated compared to regular cybercriminal activities.

The targeted users, including those in India, were cautioned about the potential risks posed by such mercenary spyware attacks, as they typically involve extensive resources and are directed at a small number of specific individuals. Apple's notification emphasized the advanced nature of these attacks, which can be costly and challenging to detect. While the majority of the population is unlikely to be affected by such targeted cyberattacks, individuals like journalists, activists, politicians, and diplomats are often prime targets.

One of the individuals who received Apple's warning, Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti, claimed that her device had been hacked by Pegasus. She accused the Narendra Modi government of targeting political opponents through surveillance tactics, echoing similar allegations made by other opposition politicians like Rahul Gandhi. Moreover, despite allegations of snooping via Pegasus, a panel appointed by the Supreme Court in 2022 did not find evidence of the software's use, noting a lack of cooperation from the government in the investigation. Apple's blog highlighted that such cyberattacks, aimed at individuals in positions of influence or importance, continue to be a pervasive issue globally, with the company sending notifications to users in over 150 countries since 2021.