The Centre has notified Apple about a danger message received by numerous members of Parliament (MPs), which stated that "state-sponsored attackers may be targeting your iPhone," according to Information Technology (IT) Secretary S Krishnan on Thursday.
This follows the announcement by the Centre that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has launched an investigation into Apple's threat notification. CERT-In is the national coordination point for responding to computer security problems as they occur.
"CERT-In has begun its investigation into the Apple threat notification issue raised by opposition MPs, and a notice has been sent to the company," IT Secretary S Krishnan said on the sidelines of an IT Ministry event on Thursday, according to PTI.
On October 31, some lawmakers and academics took to X, formerly known as Twitter, and shared screenshots of the notifications they received on their iPhones. Congress chairman 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) national secretary Sitaram Yechury, and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav were among those who received similar notifications.
The same day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stated it was the Centre's approach of diverting attention away from the "Adani issue." "We are not afraid," he stated. I don't mind if you tap my phone as much as you want. If you want to take my phone, I'll hand it over..."
Later, IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw denied the Centre's charges of hacking and indicated that a comprehensive investigation would be conducted. In a message to X, he said, "In light of such information and widespread speculation, we have also asked Apple to join the investigation with real, accurate information on the alleged state-sponsored attacks."
The following day, Apple published a statement stating, "Since enabling the Threat Notifications feature, Apple has sent Threat Notifications to individuals whose accounts are in nearly 150 countries."
"Apple makes no connection between the threat notifications and any specific state-sponsored attacker." Attacks by state-sponsored actors are well-funded and sophisticated, and they evolve overecting such attacks is dependent on threat intelligence signals, which are frequently imprecise and inadequate, according to the statement.