Feeds

Researcher says Apple fibs about crypto for iOS email attachments

Latest iPad and iPad firmware reveals attachments in clear text

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.