Apple warns Thailand militants “attackers” may target iPhone

Read Time:2 Minute, 13 Second


On February 14, 2021, the Apple logo appeared on the window of the company’s store in Bangkok.

Mladen Antonov | AFP | Getty Images

According to alerts reviewed by activists and Reuters, Apple issued an alert to at least six activists and researchers who criticized the Thai government on Wednesday, warning that their iPhones had become the target of “state-sponsored attackers.”

Apple and the Thai Digital Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Prajak Kongkirati, a political scientist at Thammasat University in Bangkok, said that he received two emails from Apple warning that his iPhone and iCloud accounts had been targeted, and that his Apple account had also received “threat notifications.”

Researcher Sarinee Achananuntakul and Thai activist Yingcheep Atchanont of iLaw, a legal watchdog group, said they received similar emails, while a rapper, a political activist, and an anti-government politician posted on their social media accounts. Screenshot of the same email.

Everyone is considered a criticism of the Thai government.

These messages warn: “If your device is compromised by a state-backed attacker, they may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications, and even the camera and microphone.”

According to social media posts seen by Reuters, two political activists in Ghana, an opposition politician in Uganda, and a dozen journalists from Salwar Multimedia reported late Wednesday that they had received similar warning messages from Apple. . Apple on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Israeli internet company NSO Group and its parent company OSY Technologies, accusing it of using Pegasus spyware to monitor and target Apple users in the United States.

In a statement on Tuesday, Apple said that the National Bureau of Statistics organization has created “state-sponsored surveillance technology,” which is aimed at “a very small number of users.”

The alert issued by Apple on Wednesday did not immediately clarify whether the company believes the Thais are the targets of Pegasus.

Internet security monitoring organization Citizen Lab discovered a Pegasus spyware operator active in Thailand in 2018.

The Thai government is still led by the planners of the 2014 coup d’état. They will continue to be in power after the 2019 general election, which rivals say is beneficial to the military.

The leader of the coup and Prime Minister Prayut Zhan Oucha denied allegations that the military had changed the rules to ensure that it maintained control. He has already faced months of anti-government protests.

In addition to calling for greater democracy, the government has also been criticized for its management of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.


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