On Tuesday, a number of opposition leaders stated that they got a message from Apple, cautioning them about potential “state-sponsored attackers trying to remotely compromise.” They also shared screenshots of this message on their social media accounts.
Members of various political parties, including Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, Trinamool Congress’ Mahua Moitra, Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha, Congress’ Shashi Tharoor and Pawan Khera have shared the Apple alert message on social media. Additionally, sources within the CPI(M) reported that their general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, also received a similar message.
PTI reached out to Apple for comments, but there was no immediate response.
In response to the opposition leaders, BJP’s Amit Malviya posted on X, saying, “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?” The opposition leaders also expressed their concerns on X, criticizing the government.
Trinamul Congress MP Moitra shared screenshots, saying, “Received text and email from Apple warning me that the government trying to hack into my phone and email. @HMOIndia — get a life. Adani and PMO bullies – your fear makes me pity you.”
Tagging Chaturvedi, Moitra asserted that three other opposition INDIA alliance leaders had received similar messages.
Chaturvedi shared a screenshot from Apple, asking, “Wonder who? Shame on you. Cc: @HMOIndia for your kind attention.”
In response to Moitra’s post, Chaturvedi stated, “So not just me but also @MahuaMoitra has received this warning from Apple. Will @HMOIndia investigate?” Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor, also posted a similar message.
In a post on X, Tharoor mentioned, “Received from an Apple ID, HYPERLINK “mailto:[email protected]”[email protected], which I have verified. Authenticity confirmed. Glad to keep underemployed officials busy at the expenses of taxpayers like me! Nothing more important to do?” He tagged the Prime Minister’s Office, the Congress, party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, and Rahul Gandhi.
Pawan Khera, sharing the same screenshot, questioned, “Dear Modi Sarkar, why are you doing this?”
AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha, in a lengthy post, explained that he received a “concerning notification from Apple” warning him about a potential state-sponsored spyware attack on his phone.
Chadha emphasized the vital role his smartphone plays in his parliamentary duties, including engaging with constituents, addressing requests, questioning government practices, communicating with party members, coordinating election efforts, and discussing legal strategies with lawyers in ongoing litigations. He viewed this potential attack as a threat to the “democratic interests” of the nation and its people.
Chadha expressed concern, stating, “Hence, not only my smartphone but the democratic interests of our country have come under attack. This notification is reminiscent of the Pegasus spyware scandal which also had targeted many voices that are critical of the BJP. Even in this attack, I am not the only opposition leader who has been attacked. Multiple voices of the opposition have been targeted.”
He pointed out that this “snooping” was occurring just months before a general election and should be viewed in the context of broader attacks on the opposition.
Chadha concluded with a warning, saying, “Every Indian needs to be worried. Because today it is me, tomorrow it could be YOU.”
The shared message from Apple conveyed, “ALERT: State-sponsored attackers may be targeting your iPhone.”
It went on to explain, “Apple believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers who are trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple 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 this is a false alarm, please take this warning seriously.”