Apple quiet about its iPhone 'spyware attack' warnings — but the mystery may be solved

Apple quiet about its iPhone 'spyware attack' warnings — but the mystery may be solved

Just a week ago around this time, iPhone users in 92 counties received one. Strange news On their device.

“Apple has discovered you're being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that's trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID,” read notification. “This attack is likely targeting you specifically because of who you are or what you do. While it's never possible to be absolutely certain when detecting such attacks, Apple has issued this warning. There's a lot of trust — please take it seriously.”

Apple posted a Announcement On its website, its basic details explain why the company usually sends such notification warnings. However, the company has since remained relatively quiet on the situation. And it never disclosed the exact threat that prompted Apple to send this notification to those users at that particular time.

Now, a new report has solved the mystery.

China-linked LightSpy spyware

Apple News Outlet Apple Insider felt a Report by BlackBerry – Yes, the mobile phone company that was popular in the 2000s and has since become a cybersecurity firm – seems to have gotten to the bottom of the spyware notification situation.

According to BlackBerry, the spyware it warned iPhone users about is called LiteSpy, which the report describes as a 'sophisticated iOS implant'.

The report notes that this is a concerning development as the lightsaber was last seen being used in a campaign during the 2020 political protests in Hong Kong. So, this latest attack appears to be the re-emergence of LightSpy.

According to BlackBerry, LightSpy is a full-featured modular surveillance toolset. Spyware can capture private information of targets, including precise location data as well as data from messaging applications, text messages, phone call history, and web browser history. It can also make voice recordings from the device, including recordings during VOIP calls.

LightSpy has been used by attackers to target individuals in Southeast Asia, including India, which explains why those notifications were mostly received by iPhone users located in that general region. The messaging apps mentioned in BlackBerry's report are the most popular in this part of the world: QQ, WeChat, and Telegram. In addition, LightSpy can extract payment history from WeChat Pay service targets.

BlackBerry believes the attack was again carried out by China-based or native Chinese-speaking actors, as with previous Litespy campaigns, and is also likely to involve state-sponsored involvement.

The report recommends that users who have reason to be targeted, whether because of their job or activity, use Apple. Lockdown modewhich the iPhone maker describes as a feature that is “used to protect devices against the rarest and most sophisticated cyberattacks.”

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