iMessages Going to Wrong iPhone "Isn't a Bug" Claims Apple

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In December, an apparent bug appeared in Apple's iMessage service that allowed iMessages to be sent to a stolen iPhone. Earlier this week, Gizmodo reported that a customer who went to Apple's Genius Bar began receiving iMessages to and from the Genius who helped fix their phone.

    It appears that the Genius took his personal SIM card and inserted it into the customer's iPhone as part of a series of unofficial and unapproved diagnostic efforts to fix the customer's phone. An Apple representative explained to The Loop's Jim Dalrymple that the issue in the Gizmodo story wasn't a bug, but instead was the result of the Genius not following protocol.
    The act of installing an employee's personal SIM card into a customer's iPhone is obviously not an approved procedure at the Genius Bar. However, the fact that the Genius wasn't supposed to perform this act does not mean that this was merely an "extremely rare situation".

    In the Gizmodo situation, a customer was having difficulties with her iPhone 4 and took it to the Genius Bar to be serviced. When it was returned, the phone was in perfect working order, except for one thing: it displayed every incoming and outgoing iMessage meant for the Genius. Because he had inserted his personal SIM card into the iPhone during the diagnostic process, it registered with Apple's iMessage servers and began sending all of his messages to the customer's phone.


    A number of customers have reported similar iMessage issues, including messages continuing to go to a stolen iPhone after a remote wipe and a SIM card deactivation. This is obviously an unintended action, and though Apple explains the solution to be "toggle iMessage on and off" in the Settings app, that is an impossible act to perform remotely on a stolen phone.

    (Image via Ars Technica)

    Article Link: iMessages Going to Wrong iPhone "Isn't a Bug" Claims Apple
  2. macrumors newbie


    Oct 16, 2008
    Campo Grande, Brazil
  3. macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2008
    I'm confused. My iphone was stolen a couple months ago. Tracking went off a day later to an area of businesses I was the night before. They all denied having it. Does this mean some chump is reading my messages?
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2005
  5. macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ
    As someone who tends to sell the previous model and upgrade each year, this worries me. I always perform a wipe and restore but what prevents a new (legitimate) owner of my phone from receiving iMessages intended for me?

    It seems like this issue must be related to the iMessage servers refusing to unlink previously used devices.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2001
    If so, you should use it to your advantage:

    iMessage: Hi Harry, Couldn't find you, so I left the money with Jeff at [address of your workplace]. Just drop by and ask for "Jeff" and let him know you are here to get the money.
  7. macrumors 604


    Mar 26, 2008
  8. macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    Yes it is a bug. apple is wrong. I have some unrelated I messages on my phone right now of conversation of other users. that just showed up on my phone.

    PS my phone is not stolen
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2002

    Apple is saying its not a bug, its a feature.
  10. macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    Wow, to me this is far worse than Jobs, "You're holding it wrong."

    Their response is totally ignorant to the actual issue. People aren't upset that some random genius is now getting his messages sent to another phone... they're upset that there are ways that can happen!!!!

    Talk about sticking their head in the sand and refusing to take responsibility and fix a bug that really should be fixed.

    As some one else said, do I now have to worry when I sell my phone that some one else is going to be getting my texts?
  11. macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    Apple needs to implement a simple solution:

    You go to

    Sign in with your Apple ID and you can see all iOS devices associated with that account (listed with the device name, serial number and the last time it was used).

    This page would allow you to remove any of the devices from that page and they stop receiving iMessages from your account.

    The same functionality could be added to the Settings app in iOS or as a separate App if they really wanted to.

    Some people have said that you can do this by deleting the device from your products list on the Apple Support page, but that doesn't work for everyone.
  12. macrumors 6502


    Sep 17, 2003
    This is happening on my iPhone. And I didn't steal it. I just borrowed it, indefinitely, from some dude I don't know.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    My wife and I went through this. Not with a stolen phone, but hers broke. I lent her mine and swapped SIMs. Our messages were flummoxed the whole time. I could read hers, se could read mine, and new messages often showed as sent from the wrong account. Tried toggling iMessage etc, but none of that worked.
    Swapping the SIMs back solved the issues. Obviously something we could only do because we physically had the phones.
  14. macrumors 68000


    Mar 13, 2007
    Right, you bought it in the alley behind the office from a reputable Italian gentleman named Pauly.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Just like authorizing iTunes accounts. Makes sense.
  16. macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2011
    If it's not a bug, then that would make it a misfeature.
  17. macrumors 68020

    Mr. Gates

    Jun 17, 2009
    --Redmond --------- ----------------Washington---
  18. macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    Funny how this has been in the news for two full days, and only now is being reported here? ? ?

    I thought Apple copied RIM's BlackBerryMessenger (BBM) since it's a proven concept. But I guess not, RIM's has worked very well for years. I used to use one issued by the old company I was employed with for four years.

    Not one single problem.

    On a positive note, let's just chalk this up as MessengerGate... ha..ha..ha..

    Easy boys & girls, I'm just kidding and trying to lighten things up :)
  19. macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    A simple solution would be a option on iCloud that will deauthorize all of the connected computers / devices to the particular account.
  20. macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    That scenario could be a disaster waiting to happen for some. I'm waiting for the "I lent my wife my iPhone and she started getting messages from my mistress!" stories to pop up on the interwebs. ;)
  21. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Article being mis-read

    People are commenting as though Apple said the theft issue is not a bug.

    Apple did not say that. They said a specific instance of an employee mistake was not a bug. We can see a connection of sorts between the two issues, but they’re not the same situation, and Apple’s not saying the other (theft-related) instances are not a problem.
  22. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2009
    Cant believe a multi billion dollar company can't fix an issue thats not even that big in a matter of minutes.

    Really. I just can't.
  23. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    I'm surprised this isn't getting more attention. Apple needs to address this, "bug" or not. What happens when someone sells an iPhone next year to buy a new one? Are you saying that if iMessage was ever activated on it, then the buyer will receive iMessages intended for the seller? Is there any way around this? What happens if you toggle iMessage off before selling it? Will it link to the buyer's SIM (rather than the seller's) once the buyer activates it? If not this raises privacy and security issues.

    Apple should permit a user to log onto a site and direct which devices receive iMessages. That way, when an old device is sold, it can be manually removed from the iMessage list.
  24. macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2009
    Why can't they just unlink the phone number and the iMessage account? It would be much simpler if the iMessage account was linked to an Apple ID or something, like Skype. When you format your computer, Skype is no longer logged in when you install it, for example.
  25. macrumors 603


    There needs to be a special section on your iTunes account proper to address these issues. Report stolen or lost equipment, inform Apple servers of the need to redact a particular unit from account features, and an option to get a new phone, use loaner equipment, or whatever.

    One aspect of this could be to give express permissions to police to employ extraordinary methods to use the equipment itself and its features to solve the crime and collect evidence. Since the device is the property of the owner, that owner should have the right to suspend normal privacy rights so they do not extend to a perp.

    In the case of simply lost equipment, another protocol entirely could be used to try to reunite the lost souls.


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