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MeitY sends notice to Apple over threat notification to opposition MPs, journalists

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has sent a notice to Apple regarding the threat notification that several opposition MPs and journalists said they received from the company, warning them of state-sponsored actors attempting to hack their devices.

IT secretary S Krishnan said that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) is investigating the matter and that a notice has been sent to the platform. “They (Apple) will cooperate in this probe,” Krishnan said, while speaking to media persons on the sidelines of an event on MeitY – NSF joint research collaboration.

Recently, several opposition politicians including TMC’s Mahua Moitra, SP’s Akhilesh Yadav, Congress’ Pawan Khera, several politicians from Telangana and a few journalists said that they received such notifications from Apple.

Apple declined to comment on the matter.

In these notifications, Apple said that it “believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers who are trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID (email 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 that this is a false alarm, please take this warning seriously,” the email by Apple to Congress politician Shashi Tharoor read.

Apple later issued a clarification, stating that it “does not attribute the threat notification to any specific state-sponsored attacker.”

After a political furore erupted over the issue, Union Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the government has ordered an investigation into the alert notifications sent to many people by Apple. The minister requested members who have received the advisory to cooperate with the investigation to ensure a thorough probe. Moneycontrol

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