iPhone warning notifications to MPs: Apple team likely to meet CERT-In officials this month



Apple’s cyber security executives from the US are likely to meet officials of CERT-In this month regarding the show cause notice issued to the company. The government of India issue show cause notice to Apple last month after several opposition MPs received a warning notification on their iPhones. CERT-In, which comes under Meity, had issued the cause notice to Apple in this regard.
Some opposition leaders claimed that they have received an alert from Apple warning them of “state-sponsored attackers trying to remotely compromise” their iPhones and alleged hacking by the government.On Friday, November 24, minister of state for electronics and information technology (Meity) Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that Apple has to reply to the notice which needs to be done by their global cyber security team. “They have to come here and answer those questions. Basic issue is ongoing,” the minister told reporters. The minister said that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team or CERT-In has met local representatives of Apple but the issue is beyond their capability to respond. “It is their cyber security people who have to come and meet CERT-In and they will come all the way from the US,” the minister said.
When asked about the deadline given to Apple to submit its response, the minister said he is not certain about the dates but expects the team to meet Cert-In officials sometime this month.
What is the issue
Last month, several opposition leaders claimed that they have received an alert from Apple warning them of “state-sponsored attackers trying to remotely compromise” their iPhones and alleged hacking by the government. The IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw outrightly rejected the claim and assured a thorough probe. The minister said that Apple has issued the same advisory across 150 countries.
The Members of Parliament (MPs) who received the warning notification on their iPhones include Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, party leaders Shashi Tharoor, Pawan Khera, K C Venugopal, Supriya Shrinate, T S Singhdeo and Bhupinder S Hooda; Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi and some aides of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also received the notification.
What Apple said then
“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,” the company said.




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