Apple warns Thailand activists ‘state-sponsored attackers’ targeting their iPhones

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Apple on Wednesday issued alert messages to at least six activists and researchers critical of Thailand’s government, warning that their iPhones had been targeted by “state-sponsored attackers”, by activists and Reuters. As per the reviewed alerts.

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Apple and Thailand’s digital ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Prajak Kongkirati, a political scientist at Bangkok’s Thammasat University, said he had received two emails from Apple believed to have targeted his iPhone and iCloud accounts, as well as “threat information” on his Apple account. Was too.


Researcher Sarini Achannuntakul of legal watchdog group iLaw and Thai activist Yingchip Atchanont said they had received similar emails, while a rapper, a political activist and a politician opposing the government shared screenshots of the same email on their social media accounts. Posted separately.

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Everyone is considered critical of the Thai government.

The messages warn that “if your device is compromised by a state-sponsored attacker, they may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications, or even camera and microphone.” “

Two political activists in Ghana, an opposition politician in Uganda, as well as a dozen journalists from Salvadoran media reported later on Wednesday that they had received similar warning messages from Apple, as did a social media post reviewed by Reuters. is according to. Apple on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Israeli cyber firm NSO Group and its parent company OSY Technologies for alleged surveillance of US Apple users and targeting them with its Pegasus spyware.

In a statement on Tuesday, Apple said the NSO group had created a “state-sponsored surveillance technology” that was aimed at “a very small number of users.”

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It was not immediately clear in Apple’s alert on Wednesday whether the company believed Thais were being targeted by Pegasus.

Internet security monitoring group Citizen Lab identified a Pegasus spyware operator operating within Thailand in 2018.

Thailand’s government still led by the architects of the 2014 coup, who remained in power after the 2019 election, their rivals say was stacked in favor of the military.

The leader of the coup, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, has denied allegations that the military changed the rules to ensure it remained under control. They have faced months of anti-government protests.

Along with calls for more democracy, the government has also been criticized for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.

(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um and Editing by Fanny Potkin by Ed Davis)

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