A flaw in Apple’s iMessage service appears to be troubling enough to get the iOS team scrambling for a fix in the coming weeks, if not days.
People whose iPhones have been stolen, or who’ve bought an iPhone from someone unaware of its origins, are signaling that iMessage is acting up.
How? It appears that, in some instances, the thief can get your SMS messages even after you’ve attempted to remotely-wipe the iPhone.
For others, their iPhones are receiving messages from people they don’t know. Most likely from the friends of the original owner whose phone got stolen and then sold to them.
iOS security expert Jonathan Zdziarski offers his take
on this troubling matter to Ars Technica:
"I can only speculate, but I can see this being plausible. iMessage registers with the subscriber's phone number from the SIM, so let's say you restore the phone, it will still read the phone number from the SIM. I suppose if you change the SIM out after the phone has been configured, the old number might be cached somewhere either on the phone or on Apple's servers with the UDID of the phone."
A Twitter user by the name of Kim Hunter contacted the tech blog with claims that Apple’s support team told him this was not a security issue.
Although Kim’s attempt was to provide clarification on the matter, it appears his story makes the situation all the more complicated.
"Apple [security]" allegedly told him this was not a security problem. The techies over at Apple reportedly advised the guy to turn iMessage off on the offending device. The only problem is that the ‘offending device’ is out of Kim’s reach.
Apple has been contacted for clarification but the company is yet to provide a statement.