Mehbooba Mufti's Daughter Claims 'iPhone Hacked By Pegasus'; 97 Others Receive Apple 'Spyware Alert'

Iltija Mufti said that she had not received such an alert and never to her knowledge.

Iltija Mufti | Photo: X/@IltijaMufti_

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's daughter Iltija her iPhone has been hacked by Pegasus after she received an Apple alert on Wednesday night.

She alleged that the Bharatiya Janata party "snoops on women" only because they don't toe their line. Sharing a screenshot of the alerts she received, Iltija wrote on X, "Got an Apple alert that my phone’s been hacked by Pegasus which GOI has admittedly procured & weaponised to harass critics & political opponents."

"BJP shamelessly snoops on women only because we refuse to toe their line. How low will you stoop? @PMOIndia @HMOIndia," she added.

The alert mail sent to her iPhone read, "Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associate with your Apple ID. This attack is likely targeting you specifically because of who you are or what you do."

Apart from Iltija, Pushparaj Deshpane, founder of the Delhi-based Samruddha Bharat Foundation (SFB) also claimed to have "Pegasus" deployed on his iPhone to "scare and suppress".

"Let PM @narendramodi & HM @AmitShah do their worst. We shall prevail!" Deshpande said in a post on X.

The alert was reportedly sent to targeted users in 98 countries including those in India. However it remains unclear as to when the alert might have happened given that Apple sends these alerts every quarter.

Iltija told The Indian Express that she had not received such an alert before, never to her knowledge. "I know GoI, especially BJP's top brass, has a history of intimidating rivals and silencing dissenters and opponents by hacking into their phones," she was quoted as saying.

Iltija alleged that she is shocked that they have attempted to hack into her phone to "intercept my personal information".

Notably, Apple in April had updated its threat notification policy, which was translated as a dilution of the previous policy by many. It switched the language from iPhone may have targeted by "potential state-sponsored spyware attack" to "mercenary spyware" now.

Last year, several opposition leaders including Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, AAP leader Raghav Chadha, TMC MP Mahua Moitra had all received Apple alert about the "potential state-sponsored spyware attack".

The notification sent to Iltija and Deshpande further read, "Mercenary spyware attacks, such as those using Pegasus from the NSO Group, are exceptionally rare and vastly more sophisticated than regular cybercriminal activity or consumer malware. These attacks cost millions of dollars and are individually deployed against a very small number of people, but the targeting is ongoing and global."