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'Apple threat notification probe a joke...' RS MP Priyanka Chaturvedi slams 'govt official' who blamed virus

Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi criticized media reports suggesting that Apple alert notifications received by members of the Opposition were due to a virus, as claimed by a government official.

Apple threat notification probe is a joke Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi slams govt official who blamed virus
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First Published Nov 24, 2023, 1:47 PM IST

Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Friday lashed out at media reports citing a government official as saying that the alert notifications received by members of the Opposition and some other individuals from Apple were due to a virus. 

Taking to social media platform X, the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader said: 'This threat notification investigation is such a joke! Imagine virus led messages of surveillance striking only people from the opposition. Also goes on to say using the word ‘state actors’ is standard practise. Whoever this official Bhaisaheb is, should just do what Sarkar is doing - blame it on Nehru, Indira Gandhi and get it over and done with.'

Virus Behind Apple's Threat Notifications?

Media reports on Thursday quoted a senior official stating that a government investigation has identified a virus as the probable cause behind Apple's threat notifications to various Opposition politicians and journalists. The official, associated with the Information Technology Ministry, disclosed that the investigation revealed vulnerabilities in Apple's systems during a specific period, leading to attempts worldwide to spread a virus on Apple devices.

When questioned about Apple categorizing the attack as "state-sponsored," the official explained that the term "state actor" is a standard language used by companies, emphasizing that attributing responsibility is often avoided. According to the official, companies prefer blaming governments rather than acknowledging vulnerabilities in their systems.

Apple Dispatching Experts to India

In response to the situation, Apple is dispatching its technical and cybersecurity experts to India for discussions with officials involved in investigating the threat notifications.

Several Opposition MPs, including Priyanka Chaturvedi, TMC's Mahua Moitra, Congress' Shashi Tharoor, and AAP's Raghav Chadha, reported receiving Apple notifications on October 31, claiming their devices were under threat from state-sponsored attackers. The revelation sparked a political controversy, with the opposition accusing the government of surveillance. Subsequently, the government issued a notice to Apple and initiated an investigation, which is being conducted by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).

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