Not at all a surprise: KTR after receiving Apple threat message

Hyderabad: Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao (KTR) who is also the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) working president and among the several opposition leaders who received an “Apple warning message” on his phone has lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“Received a message from Apple that state-sponsored attackers are targeting my phone. It’s of course not at all a surprise as we know the BJP can stoop to any lows to attack the opposition leaders,” KTR said in a post on X.

Earlier on Tuesday, several other political leaders also reported receiving alerts from Apple.
According to sources, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge and party’s General Secretary organisation KC Venugopal, Congress’ Pawan Khera, Shashi Tharoor, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra, and AAP MP Raghav Chaddha are among others who reported receiving alert messages from Apple.

The leaders of the opposition parties have alleged that the Government was behind the attempt to breach their devices. The leaders also shared screenshots of the warning received on their devices.

After a major controversy erupted between the ruling party and the opposition leaders over the alleged hacking of their phones, Apple officially announced that it does not attribute the threat notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker.

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“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’s possible that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms, or that some attacks are not detected,” Apple said in a statement.

The tech giant further said that they are unable to provide information about what causes them to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behaviour to evade detection in the future.

However, Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said the government is concerned by the statements in media from some MPs as well as others about a notification received by them from Apple.

The minister said that Apple has also claimed that Apple IDs are securely encrypted on devices, making it extremely difficult to access or identify them without the user’s explicit permission.

“This encryption safeguards the user’s Apple ID and ensures that it remains private and protected,” the minister added.

The minister said the government has asked Apple to join the investigation with “accurate information on the alleged state-sponsored attacks”.

“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. In light of such information and widespread speculation, we have also asked Apple to join the investigation with real, accurate information on the alleged state-sponsored attacks,” Vaishnaw posted on X.