Feeds

Researcher says Apple fibs about crypto for iOS email attachments

Latest iPad and iPad firmware reveals attachments in clear text

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.