The government on Tuesday hit out at opposition MPs who shared messages from Apple warning of “state-sponsored” attackers trying to hack their phones. IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw called the MPs – who include Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi and Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra – “compulsive critics” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also referred to Apple’s statement – in which it said notifications had been issued in 150 countries “based on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete” – and that some of these messages may be “false alarms”
The minister said the government had ordered a detailed investigation and called on those who had received them, and Apple, to cooperate. “We have ordered an investigation. We ask everyone who received the advisory to cooperate…” he said.
“These compulsive critics… when they don’t have a major issue, raise surveillance. They want to distract people from progress being made under the leadership of PM Modi,” Mr Vaishnaw told reporters in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.
Ms Chaturvedi and Ms Moitra’s claims, and those of Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, and the Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha, come days before state polls next month and the 2024 general election.
Earlier today Apple responded to the MPs’ messages on X, formerly Twitter, in which they posted screenshots of the messages/emails and tagged the offices of the PM and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Apple said it “does not attribute the notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker”.
In a statement drawn from its technical support page, Apple said “state-sponsored attackers tend to be very well-funded and sophisticated… detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals… often imperfect and incomplete.” “…some notifications may be false alarms…” the company said.