Apple today sent out notifications to some of its users in Thailand, El Salvador, and Uganda, warning them of a possible invasion of their privacy through their Phone devices by what is described as a state-sponsored attack.
The company said it believes that the hacking of some individual accounts had to do with their personality, what they do, and their activism against certain government policies. This hacker group attacked Prajak Kongkirati, a political scientist at Bangkok’s Thammasat University, Sarinee Achananuntakul, and Thai activist Yingcheep Atchanont of Legal Monitoring group iLaw, as well as a rapper, a political activist, and a politician opposed to the government.
The alerts were also sent to several users in El Salvador, including Twelve employees of El Faro, an online digital newspaper known for its harsh criticism of the administration, two heads of civil society organizations, two opposition lawmakers, as well as the Democratic Party of Uganda’s president, Norbert Mao. According to Apple, the notifications were intended to notify and aid individuals who may have been targeted by state-sponsored attackers.
Some of those who received the notification from Apple said the message warned them that their accounts or device might have been compromised or hacked by NSO, which could give unauthorized access to these groups, leading to loss of sensitive information, interruption of communication, even camera and audio use.
According to Reuters, Apple sent out the ‘threat notification’ to its client after it sued Israeli cyber firm NSO Group and its parent company OSY Technologies for allegedly spying on and targeting US Apple users with its Pegasus spyware. It was stated further that Apple claimed the hacking group developed a state-sponsored surveillance tech because of a few individuals.
Apple’s security chief, Ivan Krstić disclosed that the move from the company was to set the records straight that weaponized spyware against a selected few who aspire to make the world a better place in their little corner, as an unacceptable act. Saying Apple would continue to work tirelessly to ensure the safety and privacy protection of its users.