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Shashi Tharoor, Mahua Moitra, other Opposition MPs claim hacking attempt, Apple clarifies; BJP hits back
Photo courtesy: UNI/Apple Newsroom/Mahua Moitra Facebook

Shashi Tharoor, Mahua Moitra, other Opposition MPs claim hacking attempt, Apple clarifies; BJP hits back

| @indiablooms | 31 Oct 2023, 02:30 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: In a fresh political faceoff with the Centre, several opposition leaders including Congress' Shashi Tharoor, Trinamool Congress' Mahua Moitra, Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi claimed a "state-sponsored" hacking attempt  citing a notification which they received on their Apple phones.

The notification read, "ALERT: State-sponsored attackers may be targeting your iPhone..."

Sharing a screenshot on X, Tharoor wrote, "Received from an Apple ID, threat-notifications@apple.com, which I have verified. Authenticity confirmed. Glad to keep underemployed officials busy at the expenses of taxpayers like me! Nothing more important to do?"

Tharoor tagged the X profiles of the Prime Minister's Office, Congress, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and top leader Rahul Gandhi.

Moitra posted on X, "Received text & email from Apple warning me Govt trying to hack into my phone & email. @HMOIndia- get a life. Adani & PMO bullies - your fear makes me pity you. @priyankac19- you, I , & 3 other INDIAns have got it so far."

Chaturvedi wrote,"Their might can’t silence our voice. Will keep holding the government to account. With or without this unethical and illegal state sponsored attempts at hacking."

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Raghav Chadha posted on X, "This snooping is happening as we are merely months away from a General Election. It must also be placed within the broader attacks on the opposition who are facing relentless repression by investigatory agencies, politically motivated criminal cases and incarceration.

"These attacks are not on me as an individual, or one opposition party but the common people of India. As it is not about my phone or my data alone. Every Indian needs to be worried. Because today it is me, tomorrow it could be YOU."

Apple issues statement

In a clarification, Apple stated as quoted by several media, "Apple does not attribute the threat notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker."

It added, "State-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time. 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 behavior to evade detection in the future."

BJP takes dig

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) IT Cell head Amit Malviya took a potshot at the opposition leaders accusing them of creating an issue out of nowhere citing the message from Apple.

Malviya tweeted, "Usual suspects raising a storm over ‘state sponsored’ attack and pretending to be martyrs is all good… But this hullabaloo, in all probability, like in the past, will end up as damp squib!

"Why not wait for Apple to clarify? Or is it too much to let go an opportunity to outrage?" (sic)


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