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“Government denies allegations of attempting to hack Apple iPhones belonging to opposition leaders and journalists”

MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar has dismissed the claims made by the Washington Post, asserting that the story is only partially based on facts and is heavily embellished. He refuted the narrative presented by the US-based news outlet, which reported on threat notifications sent to prominent opposition leaders and journalists, alleging that the Indian government attempted to hack their Apple iPhones.

Chandrasekhar expressed his frustration with countering the Washington Post’s narrative but emphasized the need to address the inaccuracies. He argued that the story is incomplete and lacks crucial details, particularly omitting Apple’s response on October 31, the day when threat notifications were issued.

Apple’s statement on the matter was highlighted by Chandrasekhar, stating that the tech company did not attribute the threat notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker. Apple acknowledged the challenges in detecting sophisticated attacks by well-funded adversaries, noting that threat intelligence signals are imperfect and incomplete. The statement suggested that some threat notifications could be false alarms, and certain attacks might go undetected. Apple refrained from providing detailed information to prevent state-sponsored attackers from adapting their behavior to evade detection in the future.




Apple alert: India opposition says government tried to hack phones - BBC  News
Apple alert: India opposition says government tried to hack phones

Chandrasekhar reiterated the government’s consistent response to the incident, emphasizing that it is Apple’s responsibility to clarify whether their devices are vulnerable and what triggered the threat notifications. He pointed out that the Indian government, through the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and he personally, have maintained transparency about the incident and the ongoing investigation.

According to Chandrasekhar, the government has consistently called for Apple’s participation in the inquiry conducted by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In). Meetings have been held, and the investigation is still underway. He clarified that the facts surrounding the inquiry indicate that Apple is actively involved in the process.

Chandrasekhar concluded by characterizing the remainder of the story as a product of creative imagination and clickbaiting masquerading as journalism. He emphasized the need to distinguish between the facts presented by Apple and the government’s response and the sensationalized narrative propagated by certain media outlets.

The government’s firm stance, as conveyed by Chandrasekhar, is centered on holding Apple accountable for addressing vulnerabilities in its devices and providing clear explanations regarding the threat notifications. The ongoing investigation aims to ascertain the nature of the incident, and the government remains committed to ensuring the security and privacy of its citizens against potential cyber threats.

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