Feeds

Researcher says Apple fibs about crypto for iOS email attachments

Latest iPad and iPad firmware reveals attachments in clear text

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Apple has been busted for falsely claiming that email attachments sent from iOS are encrypted.

German researcher Andreas Kurtz found email attachments for POP, IMAP and ActiveSync accounts were available in clear text on iPhone 4, 5s and iPad 2 devices.

"A few weeks ago, I noticed that email attachments within the iOS 7 MobileMail.app are not protected by Apple's data protection mechanisms," Kurtz said in a blog.

"Considering the long time iOS 7 is available by now (sic) and the sensitivity of email attachments many enterprises share on their devices - fundamentally relying on data protection - I expected a near-term patch."

Email attachments were exposed on firmware iOS 7.1.1, 7.1 and 7.0.4 which Kurtz probed by jailbreaking devices using free tools.

The findings contradict Apple's claims on its website that email attachments on all devices newer than the iPhone 3GS were protected by encryption.

Kurtz said Apple was aware of the problem but did not say when a patch would be ready.

Apple has been contacted for comment.

Email attachments were at present safe from prying eyes on new devices such as the iPhone 4s, 5s and 5c running the latest iOS platforms for which jailbreaks have yet to be released.

That's because the jailbreak security modification was required for users to access the internals of iDevices including the ability to nab email attachments.

Kurtz suggested users of affected devices consider disabling mail synchronisation as an albeit inconvenient workaround.

The Neso Security Labs co-founder had last year tipped off Cupertino to a flaw in its personal hotspot function that allowed attackers to join the network by predicting passwords. Apple fixed that flaw by increasing password entropy. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.