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Opposition raises concerns over possible phone hacking, Apple responds

An issue with a computer program's functioning, known as an algorithm malfunction, has been identified as the cause behind the delivery of these emails to opposition leaders.

Vishal Upadhyay Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Updated on: October 31, 2023 14:37 IST
government algorithm issue, central government, iphones, state-sponsored attack iphones, opposition
Image Source : FILE Representational Image

Tech giant Apple has responded to allegations made by several Opposition MPs in India who claimed to have received warnings of "state-sponsored attackers" targeting their iPhones. The MPs, including Shashi Tharoor, Mahua Moitra, Raghav Chadha, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Rahul Gandhi, and others, shared screenshots of messages sent by Apple, which expressed concerns about potential remote compromise attempts on their devices.

The warning messages sent by Apple stated, "Apple believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers who are trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID." The messages further stated the significance of taking the warning seriously, as state-sponsored attackers might gain access to sensitive data, communications, or even the camera and microphone.

"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. Detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete", the company said in a statement 

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However, Apple's official statement clarified that the company does not attribute these threat notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker. The tech giant explained that these alerts were a result of its security measures, which aim to protect users from potential threats.

"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', the company added in a statement. 

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Meanwhile, the MPs and other recipients of the warning messages expressed concerns about their privacy and security, with some speculating that they might be targeted due to their public roles.

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