NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday claimed that people in his office, several party and other opposition leaders have been sent a warning by Apple of state-sponsored attackers targeting their phone, and alleged that as soon as the Adani issue is touched, probe agencies and snooping are deployed.
He also alleged that the government was indulging in “distraction politics” on the Adani issue.
During a press conference, Gandhi showed a copy of the warning e-mail received by several opposition leaders from Apple phone manufacturer about “state-sponsored attackers trying to compromise” their phone.
He said party leaders such as K C Venugopal, Pawan Khera, Supriya Shrinate and several other opposition leaders have got the Apple warning.
“We are not scared. You can do as much (phone) tapping as you want, I don’t care. If you want to take my phone, I will give it to you..,” he said.
“The hierarchy in the country is No. 1 – Adani, no. 2 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and no. 3 Amit Shah,” he alleged.
Narrating an old tale to assert his point, Gandhi said there used to be a king in India against whom people stood up and opposition was attacking him but he was like teflon and nothing used to affect him.
“After a few years, opposition people went to a rishi and said ‘we keep attacking the king, people are against him but nothing happens. Rishi said the king’s soul is not with him, there is a parrot in a small cottage and his soul is in that parrot,” Gandhi said.
“Narendra Modi’s soul is with Adani. Truth is power is in the hands of someone else. As soon as Adani is touched, intelligence agencies snooping are deployed,” he said.
“Adani cannot escape, we have surrounded him. Distraction politics is taking place,” he said
Some opposition leaders on Tuesday claimed to have received messages from Apple warning them of “state-sponsored attackers trying to remotely compromise” their iPhones and posted the purported screenshots on their X handles.
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, Trinamool Congress’ Mahua Moitra, Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha, Congress’ Shashi Tharoor and his party’s media and publicity department head Pawan Khera shared the message from Apple on X. CPI(M)general secretary Sitaram Yechury also received a similar message.
PTI reached out to Apple for comments on the matter but there was no immediate response.
“Received text and email from Apple warning me that the government trying to hack into my phone and email. @HMOIndia get a life. Adani and PMO bullies your fear makes me pity you,” Moitra said sharing the screenshots.
The message shared by the MPs stated, “ALERT: State-sponsored attackers may be targeting your iPhone”.
“Apple believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers who are trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID.
These attackers are likely targeting you individually because of who you are or what you do. If your device is compromised by a state-sponsored attacker, they may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications, or even the camera and microphone. While it’s possible this is a false alarm, please take this warning seriously,” it stated.
Responding to the opposition leaders, BJP’s Amit Malviya said in a post on X, “Usual suspects raising a storm over ‘state sponsored’ attack and pretending to be martyrs is all good… But this hullabaloo, in all probability, like in the past, will end up as damp squib!
“Why not wait for Apple to clarify? Or is it too much to let go an opportunity to outrage?”