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Apple Alert Issued In 150 Countries’: Centre After Opposition Leaders Alleged Hacking Attempts


New Delhi: Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday said that the central government is actively addressing the issue of ‘state-sponsored attack’ messages received by certain Opposition members on their Apple phones, expressing a commitment to thoroughly investigate the matter.

He said, “The government is concerned about this issue and it will go to the bottom of it. There are some compulsive critics in the country. These people can’t see the development of the country because when their family was in power they only thought about themselves. Apple has issued this advisory in 150 countries.”

Several Opposition leaders, including Shashi Tharoor, Mahua Moitra, Raghav Chadha, and others, claimed to have received alerts on their iPhones signalling attempted hacking by entities sponsored by the state.

What The Alert Said

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, Trinamool Congress’ Mahua Moitra, Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha, and Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, along with the party’s media and publicity department head Pawan Khera, received notifications from Apple warning them about a potential hacking threat by state-sponsored attackers earlier on Tuesday.

The alert said, “ALERT: State-sponsored attackers may be targeting your iPhone. Apple believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers who are trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID. These attackers are likely targeting you individually because of who you are or what you do. If your device is compromised by a state-sponsored attacker, they may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications, or even the camera and microphone. While it’s possible this is a false alarm, please take this warning seriously.”

What Apple Said

Soon after, Apple issued a statement saying, “ Apple does not attribute the threat notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker. State-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time.”

It added, “Detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete. It’s possible that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms, or that some attacks are not detected. We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behaviour evade detection in the future.”

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