Apple Explains The iMessage Bug

According to Apple, the iMessage bug we posted yesterday isn't really a bug. It's a rare incident caused by an employee's overeagerness to help a customer.

Yesterday we posted an article detailing a potential iMessage bug that could be a privacy nightmare. This isn't the first time iMessage has come under fire for sticking around on a device even after it should have been wiped. The Loop got a hold of Apple's Natalie Harrisson and she shared Apple's take on the whole situation:

This was an extremely rare situation that occurred when a retail employee did not follow the correct service procedure and used their personal SIM to help a customer who did not have a working SIM. This resulted in a temporary situation that has since been resolved by the employee.

According to The Loop, if the employee had toggled iMessage on and off in the iPhone's Settings after putting his SIM card in the phone, none of this would have happened. Apple says it's not a bug, effectively, but it seems to us any situation where someone's messages wind up on somebody else's phone is definitely a bug, even if it only occurs in rare situations. [The Loop]


Comments

    So does this mean that Wiz is an Apple employee?

      This was stated in the original article

    It's not a bug! It's an undocumented feature!

    Ahh Apple... just like the iPhone4 antennae issue... It's not a bug, people's hands have been incorrectly designed.

      Apple did have a team working to design the iHand, but the 4S design team finished first. Lot of disappointed surgeons out there.

    Toggling it on and off? It sounds like a bug. Like when my GPS fails to activate on my Solstice ROM, just close Google maps and start it again. I still call that a bug.

    If you were an apple employee you would know there was Documentation relating to "denial of BUG"

    1. Bug Found by person outside of apple
    2. Apple: Deny Bugs Existence
    3. Bug gets outlined in Gizmodo
    4. Apple : Blame user/Apple Employee for incorrect use of phone
    5. Gizmodo Users: spam Thread with hate messages and troll messages
    6. Apple :Tells users its a Feature not a bug

    1 year passes

    200. Apple :releases fix to potential "minor" bug
    201. Apologizes to users for small bug

    hang on a second, so by inserting someone else's sim card to my iphone and switching on & off the imessage, i would be able to received someone's imessage?

    that's like wiretapping someone's phone legally since it's "not the correct procedure"

    bloody hell...locking your phone is not safe, since people can literally hack your sim card that easy

    Don't you at least have to sign in with your apple ID? Can you please give details on how to recreate this bug? you know like a real journalist would?

      Well, a journalist working at News of the World anyway.

    I had switched SIMS between my iPhone and my wife's iPhone to figure out a connectivity issue just before I read yesterday's exposé. Bug did not manifest. So there's more to it than just "swapping sims".

    Shouldn't the fact that she turned OFF iMessaging on the device be enough to stop/disable the messages going through to it?
    If not then what's the point of having an ON/OFF switch. It should just be a one way activation only button without the option to turn it off.

    Does apple have any more details on this feature, when I place the borrowed sim card into my phone do I just have to start up the phone to be able to tap all their messages or is there a procedure to enable this feature? Can you tap more than one persons phone at the same time? I guess it's called a minor bug because the user effected was a child or perhaps because it only takes a few minutes to borrow someone's sim card.

    It is technically not a bug, it is just annoying how the feature works. If you have an iPhone and use iMessage, then you HAVE TO turn off iMessage before putting your SIM card into another device, otherwise the iPhone will continue getting iMessages from your friends that own iPhones, over Wi-Fi and 3G.

      it's not a bug, but serious flaw
      what's stopping me to "clone" your imessage then?

      since i dont need to know your password to unlock the screen, i simply eject your sim and put it on a blank iphone let's say, and i'll be receiving your imessages

        So, you mean stealing someone else's sim card to read their messages which is then also an invasion of privacy seeing as you do not own the sim card?

          are we talking about invasion of privacy or the imessage flaw?

    It is a complete design failure and not a rare incident, it happens to EVERYONE who puts their Apple ID into a phone and someone elses SIMM.
    As soon as that SIMM goes in it is registered to Apple. Remove the SIMM and it still has that SIMM ID and phone number linked to that handset and not the SIMM.

    I did turn off iMessage on my spare phone before removing it and then put it into my Android phone. From my Android I had sent a txt to an iPhone user, who had NEVER received anything from me before, his reply did not go via the telecom it went over iMessage of it's own accord. Your messages are hijacked by apple via their servers. Now who do you think has access to this....

      That sounds like a PITA. I don't plan for my next phone to be an iPhone, but my current is, and most of my friends have them.

    What's the only thing worse than finding a bug in your Apple? Half a bug. But I bet you were probably eating it wrong.

    iMessage certainly is problematic. I toggled mine from on to off to on again, and now my phone number is stuck at "Verifying...". I can no longer use iMessage or Facetime (same thing) from my iPhone using my phone number.

      its coz if u have telstra then it will take ages to verify imessage..... so instead try to restore ur phone from itunes .... it will work ...

      PS: no problems with vodafone, optus

    Samsung Galaxy S3..... when will you arrive?

    Then HOW in gods name has this happened to me, on a phone that has never had my sim inserted, and which ive never used!!!????

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