The breaking news is that Apple had sent warning alerts on Tuesday, October 31, to a few prominent opposition I.N.D.I.A. ministers and journalists about the risk of being targeted by the “State-sponsored attacker”.
These famous figures received the alert message.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, the deputy leader of the Shiv Sena, Mahua Moitra of the Trinamool Congress, Pawan Khera and Shashi Tharoor of the Congress, Raghav Chadha of the AAP, Sitaram Yechury of the CPIM, and Asaduddin Owaisi, the head of AIMIM, are among the notable people who received the warning. The email was also received by Samir Saran of the Observer Research Foundation, Hyderabad-based independent journalist Revathi Pogadadanda, resident editor of the Deccan Chronicle Sriram Karri, and founder editor of the online publication The Wire, Siddharth Varadarajan.
The reaction of the opposition MPs:
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted today about the threat he received from the Apple ID [email protected], which he verified. He expressed disappointment by saying “Glad to keep underemployed officials busy at the expense of taxpayers like me! Nothing more important to do?”
Similarly, the Deputy Leader of Shiv Sena (UBT) Priyanka Vickram Chaturvedi tweeted today that what happened was shameful with the screenshot of the alert.
Officials from the government claim that a “algorithm malfunction” was the reason behind the Apple messages. Soon, a statement will be released. In response, Priyanka Chaturvedi called the government’s “algorithm malfunction” explanation for the Apple warning messages a “joke of an excuse” and poked fun at it. On the other hand, Leader of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi, criticised the Modi administration over the “Apple warning alert” and claimed it was attempting to deflect public attention away from pressing problems.
Mahua Moitra claimed that Apple had also sent warning messages to other leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc, such as Congressmen Pawan Khera and Shashi Tharoor, chief of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha, CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, and other individuals in Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s office. She said that She is going to write to Speaker of the Lok Sabha Om Birla, asking him to protect opposition MPs by adhering to Raj Dharma in response to Apple’s alleged threat of “state-sponsored attackers trying to remotely compromise” her iPhone
The reaction of the Indian government:
Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw disputed the accusations made by opposition MPs, blaming their criticism on a political agenda that is hostile to the advancement of the country. The Minister emphasised how these cautions were widely disseminated to people in 150 nations. Furthermore, the chief of the BJP IT Cell, Amit Malviya, categorically refuted the opposition’s claim that their phones were penetrated by the government, calling it “absolutely baseless.”
Apple’s official response to the recent warning:
Apple issued an official statement in response to the allegations, making it clear that they do not link any specific state-sponsored attacker to the danger notifications. It emphasized the shifting nature of state-sponsored attackers’ attacks over time, while also highlighting their significant financial backing and advanced degree of sophistication. Threat intelligence signals, which often turn out to be wrong and inadequate, are what are used to detect these kinds of threats. Apple recognized that certain danger alerts can be false alarms or undiscovered intrusions, highlighting the difficulties in locating and neutralizing such sophisticated cyber threats. The IT giant released this statement on Tuesday.
Apple stated, “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”. It said in a statement that they are unable to provide information about what causes them to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behavior to evade detection in the future.
Watch out for Apple’s “state-sponsored attacker” :
Apple implements threat alerts as an essential tool for alerting and supporting people who may have become targets of state-sponsored threats. With the help of the government, these attackers have access to substantial resources that allow them to target specific people and their devices depending on their identity or activity. These assaults stand out from the more widespread cybercrime activities that target a large user base in an attempt to obtain financial benefit because they are specifically designed to target and take advantage of vulnerabilities specific to their intended victims.
By proactively notifying users of the differences between these sophisticated, government-backed attacks and the more commonplace, financially motivated cybercrimes that the general user base frequently encounters, Apple’s proactive approach to alerting functions as a preventative measure.