ple warns Thai activists that “government sponsored attackers” may have targeted iPhones

ple warns Thai activists that “government sponsored attackers” may have targeted iPhones


ple Inc on Wednesday issued alerts to at least six activists and researchers who were critical of the Thai government, warning that their iPhones had been attacked, according to activists and verified warnings from “state sponsored attackers”.

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ple Inc on Wednesday issued alerts to at least six activists and researchers who were critical of the Thai government, warning that their iPhones had been attacked, according to activists and verified warnings from “state sponsored attackers”.

ple and the Thai Ministry of Digital Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prajak Kongkirati, a political scientist at Thammasat University in Bangkok, said he had received two emails from ple warning that his iPhone and iCloud accounts had been attacked, along with a “threat notification” on it his ple account.

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Researcher Sarinee Achananuntakul and Thai activist Yingcheep Atchanont from Legal Monitoring Group iLaw said they received similar emails while an Rper, political activist and anti-government politician separately screenshots the same email on their social media accounts published.

All are perceived as critical of the Thai government.

The messages warned: “If your device is compromised by a government sponsored attacker, they may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications, or even the camera and microphone.”

Two political activists in Ghana, an opposition politician in Uganda and a dozen journalists from the Salvadoran media reported later on Wednesday that they had received similar warnings from ple, as verified by social media posts.

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ple filed a lawsuit against Israeli cyber company NSO Group and its parent company OSY Technologies on Tuesday for alleged surveillance and targeted attacks on US ple users with their Pegasus spyware.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ple said the NSO group had developed “government-sponsored surveillance technology” aimed at “very small numbers of users”.

It wasn’t immediately clear in ple’s notifications on Wednesday whether the company believed Thais were being attacked by Pegasus.

The Internet security monitoring group Citizen Lab identified a Pegasus spyware operator active in Thailand in 2018.

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

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of the coup, has denied allegations that the military changed the rules to ensure it remained in control. He has been confronted with protests against the government for months.

In addition to calls for more democracy, the government has also been criticized for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.

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