Minister Piyush Goyal On Hacking Row

'I Think Someone Pranked Opposition Leaders': Minister Piyush Goyal On Hacking Row

This will be investigated, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said. (File)

New Delhi:

Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday dismissed the allegations in connection with Apple’s ‘state-sponsored attack’ message to some Opposition leaders and said that someone might have played a prank on them.

“I think perhaps someone played a prank on the Opposition leaders. They should lodge an official complaint and the Government will take appropriate action on that basis,” Mr Goyal told ANI.

Hitting out at the Opposition leaders, the Union Minister said that the Opposition is going through a weak phase, thus they see conspiracy in everything.

“I think the Opposition is going through a very weak phase these days, so they see conspiracy in everything. The reality is that Apple has itself cleared that this was some sort of malfunction and this message has reached people in 150 countries. It seems that this was an error from Apple’s end, hackers too are active across the world. This will be investigated. Apple too has been told to join in,” he said.

“They (Opposition) can claim anything they want but the country knows their situation, they are so tangled in their infighting. They should look at their weaknesses first instead of commenting on us. It is clear that the government has no role in this and the government doesn’t need to do anything like this,” the Union Minister added.

Earlier in the day, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge and party’s General Secretary organisation KC Venugopal also received the “Apple warning message” on their phone on Tuesday along with other opposition leaders from the INDIA bloc, sources said.

The leaders of the opposition parties have alleged that the Government was behind this attempt to breach their devices.

After receiving the warning messages, multiple political leaders have alleged that their Apple devices have been the victim of alleged hacking. The leaders shared the screenshot of the warning received on their devices.

“This is not an allegation. The message has already been received. What is happening? They want to see who is talking to whom…We have not heard anything from the government. I have not heard a single word from the government’s side. They should clarify,” RJD MP told ANI on Tuesday.

AAP MP Raghav Chaddha also got the alleged hacking notification on his phone and claimed that this was an attack on the people of India.

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, who also claimed alleged hacking of her phone alleged that this is a sponsored program of the Central Government.

“The way I received a warning last night, shows that this is a sponsored program of the Central Government and that I need to take precautions. The warning clearly says that these attacks are ‘state-sponsored’. Why are the leaders of the Opposition only getting such messages? This shows that large-scale surveillance is underway. There should be an investigation on this, and the Centre needs to give a clarification on the same,” Priyanka Chaturvedi told ANI.

However, according to the Apple support page on its website, State-sponsored attacks are highly complex, cost millions of dollars to develop, and often have a short shelf life. The vast majority of users will never be targeted by such attacks.

Apple says if it discovers activity consistent with a state-sponsored attack, it will notify the targeted users in two ways. A Threat Notification will be displayed at the top of the page after the user has signed in to Additionally, Apple will send an email and iMessage notification to the email addresses and phone numbers associated with the user’s Apple ID.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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