Indian opposition politicians' claims of iPhone hacking prompt an investigation by India's cyber security agency, CERT-In. Apple confirms receipt of the notice. Get the latest updates on this cybersecurity controversy.


India's Ministry of Information Technology has initiated an investigation into allegations of mobile phone hacking targeting senior opposition politicians who reported receiving cautionary messages from Apple, as per statements made by Information Technology Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw.

According to Vaishnaw, CERT-In, the nation's computer emergency response team, based in New Delhi, has commenced the probe, with Apple acknowledging receipt of the investigation notice.

Vaishnaw's political aide and two federal home ministry officials confirmed that all cybersecurity concerns raised by the politicians are currently under scrutiny. Apple has not issued an immediate response regarding the ongoing investigation.

This controversy arose after Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of attempting to hack the mobile phones of opposition politicians. Some lawmakers shared screenshots on social media showing a notification allegedly from Apple, warning that "Apple believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers who are trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID." A senior minister from Modi's government also claimed to have received a similar notification.

Apple clarified that it did not attribute the threat notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker and noted the possibility of false alarms or undetected attacks.

This investigation follows previous reports in 2021 suggesting that the Indian government had used Israeli-made Pegasus spyware for surveillance on numerous journalists, activists, and politicians, including Rahul Gandhi. The government has refrained from responding to inquiries regarding the procurement of Pegasus spyware for surveillance by India or its state agencies.

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