The Lok Sabha's Ethics Committee, which is looking into the cash-for-query allegation against Mahua Moitra, has asked the Trinamool Congress leader to appear before it for 'oral evidence' on November 2.
At least four opposition leaders today claimed to have received messages from Apple warning them of "state-sponsored attackers trying to remotely compromise" their iPhones and emails, and posted the purported screenshots on social media.
Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, Shiv Sena (UBT)'s Priyanka Chaturvedi, Congress' Lok Sabha Member Shashi Tharoor and his party's media and publicity department head Pawan Khera shared the screenshots on X (formerly known as Twitter).
Soon after, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi held a press conference in which he said "a number of people in my office have got this message".
"Very few people are fighting against this but we are not scared. You can do as much (phone) tapping as you want, I don't care. If you want to take my phone, I will give it to you...", h said.
Multiple opposition leaders allege 'hacking' of their Apple devices, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says, "A number of people in my office have got this message... In Congress, KC Venugopal ji, Supriya, Pawan Khera have got it too...They (BJP) are trying to distract the attention of the youth."
Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, summoned by Lok Sabha's Ethics Committee in relation to the cash-for-query allegation against her, has alleged that the government is trying to "hack into her phone and mail". Mahua shared screenshot of text and email from Apple as proof of her claim.
The Trinamool Congress leader alleged that the "government has also tried to hack" into phones and mails of several opposition leaders including Akhilesh Yadav, Shashi Tharoor, Raghav Chadha and those in the office of Rahul Gandhi.
Chaturvedi also shared a similar screenshot which she claimed to have received from Apple and said, "Wonder who? Shame on you. Cc: @HMOIndia for your kind attention".
Replying to Moitra's post, she said, "So not just me but also @MahuaMoitra has received this warning from Apple. Will @HMOIndia investigate?"
Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor also shared a post about him receiving a similar message.
"Received from an Apple ID, firstname.lastname@example.org, which I have verified. Authenticity confirmed. Glad to keep underemployed officials busy at the expenses of taxpayers like me! Nothing more important to do?" he said on X, tagging the Prime Minister's Office, the Congress, party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi.
Khera also shared a screenshot of a similar message on X and said, "Dear Modi Sarkar, why are you doing this?"
AAP leader Raghav Chadha linked the suspected attack to Pegasus spyware scandal which also had targeted many voices that are critical of the BJP. "Even in this attack, I am not the only opposition leader who has been attacked. Multiple voices of the opposition have been targeted," he said.
The message shared by the MPs stated, "ALERT: State-sponsored attackers may be targeting your iPhone".
"Apple believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers who are trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID. These attackers are likely targeting you individually because of who you are or what you do. If your device is compromised by a state-sponsored attacker, they may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications, or even the camera and microphone. While it's possible this is a false alarm, please take this warning seriously," it stated.