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Modi's cronies might have tried to bully tech giant

by on28 December 2023

Apple Crumble

The Indian government might have tried silencing the fruity cargo cult  Apple over its Pegasus hacking warnings.

In October, Apple issued notifications warning over a half dozen Indian lawmakers of their iPhones being targets of state-sponsored attacks.

The ruling BJP party publicly slammed the Jobs’ Mob for alerting users to possible spyware infections and launched a probe into its security features.

But behind closed doors, top Modi officials begged Apple to help them save face and avoid a political backlash.

They even flew in an Apple security expert from abroad and grilled him for hours in a secret meeting in New Delhi, demanding he devise other excuses for the warnings.

"They were really angry," said one source who spoke anonymously.

But the Apple official refused to budge and stood by the company's alerts.

The spyware appeared on the phones of critics of Modi and his billionaire pal Gautam Adani. More than 20 people who got Apple's warnings in October and they have spoken out against Modi or Adani, including a politician from West Bengal, a Communist leader from the south and a spokesman for the main opposition party.

A BJP spokesman said any evidence of hacking should be given to the Indian government for investigation.

The Modi government has never confirmed or denied using spyware and has refused to cooperate with a committee appointed by India's Supreme Court to investigate whether it had.

But two years ago, the Forbidden Stories journalism consortium found that phones belonging to Indian journalists and political figures were infected with Pegasus, which grants attackers access to a device's encrypted messages, camera and microphone.

Two years ago, The Post and other media outlets found that Indian journalists and politicians had been infected with Pegasus. This spyware can access a phone's messages, camera and microphone.

In recent weeks, The Post and a security firm found more cases of hacking among Indian journalists and opposition figures, suggesting the Modi government is using powerful surveillance tools to spy on its enemies.

Last modified on 28 December 2023
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