WP chairman Sylvia Lim declines to pursue phone hacking claim; police treat matter as closed

WP chairman Sylvia Lim said she had received a threat warning from Apple informing her that her iPhone could be the subject of hacking by state-sponsored attackers. PHOTO: GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - Workers' Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim met the police on Wednesday (Feb 23) at their request, after she said last Friday in Parliament that she had received a threat warning from Apple informing her that her iPhone could be the subject of hacking by state-sponsored attackers.

During the meeting, Ms Lim informed the police that she was satisfied with Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam's answer to her question in Parliament last Friday and did not want to pursue the matter further, said the police in a release on Thursday.

"Accordingly, she did not file a police report, nor did she require any forensic examination of her phone.

"As such, the police will treat the matter as closed."

The police also said it had earlier informed Ms Lim that she could file a police report or they could facilitate forensic examination of her phone.

The police said last Saturday that Mr Shanmugam had directed them to engage a commercial organisation with expertise in this field to conduct the examination.

"He has also directed that police put in place a secure, auditable and transparent process to handle and examine her phone, from the point in time that Ms Lim hands over the phone, to its return to her," they said, reiterating this in their latest statement.

Ms Lim brought up the claim of hacking in Parliament last Friday during an exchange with Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan, who was responding to a question from Mr Leon Perera of Aljunied GRC on the Government's use of spyware.

Mr Perera, a WP MP, had asked whether the Government uses spyware from Israeli company QuaDream and if it has deployed the spyware or other spying technologies in Singapore.

This was after a Reuters report earlier this month that QuaDream, which develops smartphone hacking tools intended for government clients, counted the Singapore Government as one of its first clients.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.