New threat notifications have been released this week by Apple, relating to mercenary spyware attacks and covering 98 countries. This is the second such alert in 2024 and it covers six additional countries than the notification in April of 2024. Since the year 2021, Apple has been keen to inform users in over 150 countries about these complex cyber threats.

The Extent Of The Risk

This new warning from Apple is experienced by iPhone users in approximately 99 countries making this a worldwide issue to do with cybersecurity. According to the latest version of the support document, these notifications have been sent to the users in 152 countries in the past 3 years. This global alert shows that mercenary spyware attacks are continuous and change over time and can take different approaches.

Apple’s Response And User Guidance

Apple in its notification email informs users it has high confidence that the targeted Apple ID and the corresponding devices have been compromised. The company recommends the following course of action, stating that it is critical to update to the iOS 17.5.1 and the recent versions, messaging and cloud storage apps. For instance, Apple advises users to activate Lockdown Mode, which considerably minimizes attackers’ access to an iPhone while causing some inconvenience.

Understanding Mercenary Spyware

Mercenary spyware on the other hand is complex surveillance software usually deployed by governments or certain companies, to spy on specific persons of interest. Some of these tools can in effect make an entry directly to the device’s camera, microphone, and even confidential data unannounced to the owner. Spyware market size globally is expected to reach $1.82 billion by 2026, from $7.77 million in 2021 at a CAGR of 12.8%.

Key Takeaways For Users

  1. Upgrade the devices as soon as possible to iOS 17.5.1
  2. Prepare the settings to allow lock down mode for the next level of security.
  3. Beware of fake notifications that look and feel like the real Apple notifications.
  4. As often as possible, ensure that there are security updates to check for and install.


Apple’s foresight in releasing these warnings show that technology companies and hackers are always playing a game of chess and checkers. These malicious activities are always on the rise, and the users need to be alert at any time and counteract these malicious activities. According to Apple’s advice and taking into account threats that occur in the world daily, it is possible to minimize the chances of becoming a victim of these hi-tech attacks