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  • Security Fail: Read Deleted iPhone Emails


    Well if you thought that deleting emails on the iPhone meant you were deleting emails you were wrong. A new security bug has revealed that when you delete emails on the iPhone it doesn't delete them, it just makes them slightly harder to read.

    Step 1
    Delete your email. Remove it from trash. Check the mail server to confirm that the email is gone.

    Step 2
    Go to Spotlight on your iPhone and search for the subject line of the deleted email.

    Step 3
    Try to open your deleted email that appears in the Spotlight search results. Your phone will crash.

    Step 4
    Try again. You'll be surprised to find that your deleted email opens fine.

    While this is known to affect POP email accounts on the iPhone it is unclear whether or not it happens with IMAP accounts. Many reports say it does while many others say it doesn't -- probably depends on what IMAP email service you are using.

    Apple is aware of the bug and says that the fix will come in firmware 3.1

    via cultofmac gizmodo
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Security Fail: Read Deleted iPhone Emails started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      Apple Smart.

      Edit: 1st
    1. Hyperextension's Avatar
      Hyperextension -
      This does not work for me at all. I am on Exchange however and MobileMe.

      I tried this and I cannot find deleted emails with Spotlight after I have deleted them.
    1. photoguy's Avatar
      photoguy -
      It did this in my IMAP also.
    1. operate's Avatar
      operate -
      i just tested it...bug confirmed, i used my gmail account and this happened
    1. JAE's Avatar
      JAE -
      This sucks.
    1. driffty's Avatar
      driffty -
      if your not worried about security regarding emails this is actualy a good feature.i have in the past deleted a few emails by mistake,now i know i can them back again.
    1. Fallguy's Avatar
      Fallguy -
      What if you sell your old phone with deleted emails ? I hope if you restore it you wouldnt have this problem.
    1. Stangster's Avatar
      Stangster -
      This happens on with my yahoo account but I think I found a way to permanently delete them.
      I deleted three emails,followed the guide I opened one then deleted it using the trash can at the bottom of the screen,followed the guide again and all three emails were gone.
      this should work with other accounts. let us know
    1. XMAXIMUSX's Avatar
      XMAXIMUSX -
      I have had this problem many times before where i delete my emails and then the next day i hit the refresh button on my iphone in the email app and the emails that i had previously deleted will pop up again. I figured it was just one of those defects. Another interesting thing i found was that i sold my old iphone and gave it to my gf and i did a restore on it and later found that my info for the app store stayed stored in the phone i thought that was not very good.
    1. sikdaz's Avatar
      sikdaz -
      yeah i've confirmed that bug it's happened to me lots of times.. they should def. fix that up..
    1. Dereck.Hsu's Avatar
      Dereck.Hsu -
      I can also confirmed the bug with Yahoo mail account, however if you reboot the iPhone, then you will not be able to find the deleted emails.

      It is very clear to understand that iPhone uses temp memory to display your emails, until the device is rebooted (or use SBSetting to free up memory).
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      hmm.. doesnt seem as big a security risk as the sms hack was
      nothing really interesting in my deleted emails
    1. PlatoTheForms's Avatar
      PlatoTheForms -
      it works with my imap gmail
    1. Dust Busta's Avatar
      Dust Busta -
      MMIs new slogan should be:

      "Last weeks iPhone news today!"

      you guys have been slacking lately
    1. russell5's Avatar
      russell5 -
      I think if people are worried about someone reading their deleted email they should have it password protected. Then someone wont be able to get in as easy to read the email that they need to know the subject to.
    1. PainBlade's Avatar
      PainBlade -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dust Busta View Post
      MMIs new slogan should be:

      "Last weeks iPhone news today!"

      you guys have been slacking lately
      Seriously.

      I am suprised this is "NEW" news. This has been around since the iPhone was born. Email services that are fully functional with the iPhone Mail app give complete control of the email account, while as POP(user entered server info) gives partial control. For instance i use Yahoo mail, which, when i delete an email from the iPhone, it is deleted from the main server. While as Hotmail, not being supported by Mail so it uses POP, deleting an email only deletes it from your iPhone but still exists on the server. Check your mail through the main website on a web browser. You will see that all the emails you deleted on your iPhone are still in the inbox.
      Addition - This OLD,OLD situation was made easier to discover because of spotlight search.

      This may or may not be the case, but is the story for my iPhone. I dont see this in anyway a Security fail, but improper communication between the server and the iphone.
      Case Closed.
    1. jcrod73's Avatar
      jcrod73 -
      Reason why i bought iWipe from the Cydia store )
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      weird
    1. ischol-ar's Avatar
      ischol-ar -
      Security Fail Deleted iPhone Emails??? I have 3.0.1 firmware on my RED 3gs iPhone, i don't have that problem in the video that was shown.. The guy said he was running 3.0 firmware... maybe he should update his iPhone to fix this problem. I have Gmail and I'm running 3.0.1 FW I don't have any Security Fail with it.
    1. Neo-Tech's Avatar
      Neo-Tech -
      About the time this bloody bug was publicized, Apple better fix it and let me have some memory back with it.