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  • I-Phone hacking: Mantri rebuts report of government pressure on co | India News – Times of India

I-Phone hacking: Mantri rebuts report of government pressure on co | India News – Times of India

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The government on Thursday rebutted a Washington Post report about attempts by government officials to soften the impact of a warning issued by Apple about possible attempts by “state-sponsored attackers” to break into their iPhones and repeated attempts to target some journalists through the Pegasus spyware.
“This story is half facts, fully embellished. Left out of the story is Apple’s response on October 31 — day of threat notifications. The ministry of electronics and IT’s and my response to this incident has been consistent and clear — that it is for Apple to explain if their devices are vulnerable and what triggered these notifications. Apple was asked to join the enquiry with CERT-In and meetings have been held and enquiry is ongoing. Those are the facts. Rest of (the) story is creative imagination and clickbaiting at work masquerading as journalism,” minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar posted on X.

In October, Apple had sent out messages, which were flagged by politicians from opposition parties and some journalists, about possible attempts to break into their phones. The Washington Post said government officials called Apple’s India representatives “to demand that the company help soften the political impact of the warnings”. Apple’s security expert was also called to the Capital for a meeting, “where government representatives pressed the Apple official to come up with alternative explanations for the warnings to users”.

After issuing the alerts, Apple had released a statement which said, “Apple does not attribute the threat notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker. 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. We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behaviour to evade detection in the future.”
An investigation by Amnesty International and Washington Post has concluded that Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire, and Anand Mangnale, South Asia Editor at the Organised Crime and Corruption Report Project, were among the journalists targeted with Pegasus spyware on their iPhones.



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