Six Thai activists and researchers have been issued an alert warrant by Apple on Wednesday, according to activists and the notifications examined by Reuters, those who have been critical of the government were warned that their iPhone devices had been targeted by “state-sponsored attackers.”
A request for comment from Apple and Thailand’s Digital Ministry was not immediately returned.
Apple sent him two emails warning that his iPhone and iCloud accounts had been targeted, as well as a “threat notification” on his Apple account, according to Prajak Kongkirati, a political scientist at Bangkok’s Thammasat University.
Similar emails were received by Legal Monitoring organization iLaw researcher Sarinee Achananuntakul and Thai activist Yingcheep Atchanont, while a rapper, a political activist, and a politician hostile to the government all uploaded screenshots of the identical email on their social media profiles.
All of them are seen as being critical of Thailand’s government.
“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,” the message read.
Apple sued Israeli cyber firm NSO Group and its parent company OSY Technologies on Tuesday, alleging that its Pegasus malware was used to spy on and target US Apple consumers.
Apple claimed in a statement on Tuesday that the NSO organization developed “state-sponsored surveillance technology” aimed at a “very small number of users.”
In Apple’s Wednesday notifications, it was not immediately obvious whether the firm felt Pegasus was targeting Thais.
Citizen Lab, an internet security monitoring group, discovered a Pegasus spyware operator operating in Thailand in 2018.
Thailand’s government is still run by the architects of a 2014 coup, who have retained power following a 2019 election that many claims were rigged in the military’s favor.
The coup leader, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, has disputed the allegations but has been the target of months of anti-government demonstrations.
The administration has been chastised for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the economy, in addition to calls for greater democracy.