According to recent reports, state-sponsored assailants in India attacked the phones of several opposition party leaders and journalists. indicating the threat notifications that some users got indicating possible phone hacking efforts, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has responded by sending a notice to Apple.
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) is looking at this issue in great detail, according to sources. The central organization in India for handling cybersecurity incidents and threats is CERT-IN.
Congressman Shashi Tharoor, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, and other opposition politicians and journalists received a notification on their iPhones from Apple on October 31, 2022. Apple believes that state-sponsored attackers are attempting to remotely compromise their iPhones, according to the alert.
The alert alerted them to the possibility that their devices may be compromised, giving the attackers access to private information, conversations, and even the ability to remotely turn on the camera and microphone. Users were advised to heed this warning carefully.
Government Denies Phone Hacking Allegations
Following Apple’s warnings, the government has categorically denied reports that opposition leaders and journalists were the targets of phone hacking attempts.
Apple reportedly issued such advisories in more than 150 countries as a preventive measure based on generic dangers, according to Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. He clarified that Apple does not possess any particular proof of attempted phone hacking in India.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT, continued by saying that Apple must clarify and allay any concerns regarding the security of iPhones in India. He has requested information from Apple regarding any vulnerabilities in their phones that could allow for state-sponsored attacks.
The Threat Notification System on Apple
These threat alerts, according to Apple’s website, are meant to warn and support people who may be the target of sophisticated cyberattacks funded by foreign governments.
The notification gives consumers information on how to secure their devices, including how to activate lockdown mode. The purpose of lockdown mode is to protect iPhones from sophisticated cyberattacks. It does, however, also restrict operation and disable several capabilities.
Apple makes the point that state-sponsored threats are highly resourceful, well-trained, and dynamic. Threat intelligence signals must be analyzed in order to identify such threats, and this analysis is not always accurate.
Certain threat alerts can prove to be false alarms, and other real attacks might go unnoticed. According to Apple, they are unable to disclose the precise motivations behind their notifications because doing so would enable attackers to alter their strategies.
Checking the Validity of Apple’s Announcement
Users can go into their Apple accounts at appleid.apple.com to confirm the legitimacy of any danger notifications they may have received from Apple. This will verify whether Apple really did send the notice.
The latest incident has brought attention to the need for improved data protection and cybersecurity, particularly for individuals who could be the targets of sophisticated state-sponsored attacks. Although Apple’s threat notification system is designed to warn customers of possible threats, the Indian government’s worries call for Apple to look into these matters more thoroughly and be more open about them.