Apple yields to pressure to improve safety notice

(MENAFN) United States tech giant Apple has adjusted its security notices to users in 92 countries, dropping the term "state-sponsored" in reference to potential spyware attacks, Reuters reported. Instead, Apple now warns users of "mercenary spyware attacks," marking a departure from its previous language.

The change in terminology came after Apple sent notification emails to targeted users, alerting them of attempts to "remotely compromise" their iPhones. Previously, the company had linked such threat notifications to state-sponsored attacks, associating them with actors like private companies developing spyware, such as the Israeli-based NSO Group's Pegasus spyware.

According to Reuters, the decision to remove the term "state-sponsored" from the alerts followed pressure from the Indian government. Sources with direct knowledge revealed that Apple engaged in extensive discussions with Indian officials prior to issuing the updated notifications.

Last October, Indian opposition politicians raised concerns after receiving Apple's warnings of state-sponsored attacks, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of attempting to hack into their mobile phones. Subsequently, the Indian government requested Apple's assistance in investigating the matter and providing accurate information.

While the focus has been on India's concerns, it remains unclear if other governments have raised similar issues with Apple regarding the terminology used in the security notices. The adjustments made by Apple reflect the complexities surrounding cybersecurity and the delicate balance between user protection and governmental interests in national security matters.



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