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Exclusive: “Apple Must Say If Devices Secure,” Says Minister On ‘Hacking’ Row

Exclusive: “Apple Must Say If Devices Secure,” Says Minister On ‘Hacking’ Row

Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar brushed off Opposition concerns about iPhone hacking today, that spread following a notification from Apple. “It is election season and people will pull all sorts of things from a hat,” he told NDTV in an exclusive interview. “Many people have got this notification in many countries,” Mr Chandrasekhar told NDTV in an exclusive interview, but seconded his boss Ashwini Vaishnaw’s comments about the need for an investigation.

Apple, he said, should explain what the notification means, especially in view of their claims about the security of their devices.

Either their platform is compromised or that the platform is secure and the notification sent is unreliable. “Either way, they have to explain. Investigation will explain where it is compromised,” he added.

“The verbiage that notification implies that there are state actors. They should explain who are these state actors,” he said. But the government, he added, has no say in this process.

The message from Apple, received by many opposition leaders earlier today said, “State-sponsored attackers may be targeting your iPhone,” read the message, raising much concern in the opposition camp in the backdrop of the Pegasus controversy.

“If the device is compromised… they may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications or even the camera and microphone,” it added.

Multiple opposition MPs, also including Congress leaders Pawan Khera and Shashi Tharoor, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, and the Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha, posted screenshots of messages/emails they received on X, formerly Twitter.

Shortly after, Mr Chandrasekhar has posted three questions for Apple.

Apple has said it “does not attribute 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.”

Union minister for IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw, said the information by Apple on this issue seems “vague and non-specific”.

“The Government of Bharat takes its role of protecting the privacy and security of all citizens very seriously and will investigate to get to the bottom of these notifications” and Apple has been asked to join investigation, he added in a series of posts on the matter.

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