Apple explains how it alerts targets of state-sponsored spyware attacks

It will be very clear if you were a victim.

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple said it would keep notifying victims in its fight against state-sponsored spyware, and now it's clear just what happens if you're one of those targets. MacRumors notes that Apple has detailed how it alerts users when it believes they've been targeted by state-sponsored attackers. You'll get both email and iMessage notifications to the addresses and phone numbers associated with your Apple ID. If you visit, you'll also see a prominent "threat notification" message indicating what happened and when.

The company stressed these notifications will never ask you to click links, download content or share login details like passwords and verification codes. It instead asked users to visit the Apple ID website to verify warnings. Apple also pointed users to a Consumer Reports list of emergency resources if you don't get the notification but are still reasonably confident you're under attack, whether from state actors or harassers.

These kinds of notifications aren't new. Google, for instance, has been notifying potential victims for years. Apple's explanation is relevant in light of worries about spyware from NSO Group and others, however, and may be crucial if you're an activist, journalist or other critic who could easily face attacks from oppressive governments.

This article contains affiliate links; if you click such a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission.