Recieved strangers personal data over iCloud

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iCloudbreach, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. iCloudbreach macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    #1
    Let me start off by saying I am a huge fan and supporter of Apple. They have always had above par customer service until my latest experience which I need your help in seeing if the problem is common.

    2 months ago I took my dying Iphone4 into a local store and had it replaced free of charge. They were great to work with. When I got home I noticed a number of contacts that had been synced to my phone through the Icloud that were not mine. I started deleting them one by one until I noticed I had hundreds of them. Normally I would not be too concerned except for the strangers information I had on my phone was personal bank information such as usernames, passwords, and even password hints. It had the address to his home. I discovered he was a pilot and I also had secret login credentials for boarding planes.

    I took the phone into apple and expressed my concern and to my amazement the apple genius tried getting me to pay for an Icloud service so I could be helped. He said it was beyond his expertise. I asked for the manager and his suggestion was to delete all 200 contacts manually. I told them they were crazy for thinking I was about to pay to fix their issue. I went home and contacted the individual myself and shared the story. He is of course not happy and wants to pursue a law suit.

    Any suggestions? Is this happening often? How many other people out of the 85 million Icoud users could have his or my personal information?
     
  2. bTaryag macrumors member

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #2
    Very unusual story.

    If you don't want his data why not restore your phone and start over?
     
  3. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

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    #3
    This, also, I'm not sure how liable Apple is here, he willingly turned in the phone without erasing his data.
     
  4. Rocko1 macrumors 68020

    Rocko1

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    #4
    He did erase them. They appeared when he synced.
     
  5. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

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  6. cynics, Feb 2, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012

    cynics macrumors G3

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  7. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    Denver/Boulder, CO
    #7
    Strange, considering iCloud is free.

    Anyway, assuming this isn't a troll, the thing to do is simply remove the iCloud login info from the phone. Settings -> iCloud -> Account.
     
  8. joeshmo2010 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2009
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    Seattle, WA
    #8
    If that phone he turned in was for a warranty replacement, then apple isn't at all liable. The repair paper they make you sign states that they aren't liable for any loss/transfer of data.
     
  9. William.Mantle macrumors 6502

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  10. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #10
    Newbie.
    Username iCloudBreach.
    Didn't know iCloud was free.

    It seems to add up to another troll.
     
  11. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    USA
    #11
    FWIW, his english isn't too bad.
     
  12. TSX macrumors 68030

    TSX

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    #12
    I read not to long ago a member here sold his iPhone and restored as new, but was still able to track the phone through his iCloud account.
     
  13. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #13
    :confused:

    Are you saying only non-english speaking people are trolls ?
     
  14. iCloudbreach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2012
    #14
    troll?

    Not sure what the term troll is referring to, but I can assure everyone this is legit. Yes icloud is free to use, but when troubleshooting over the phone a service plan which is not free is required. The apple genius did clear my phone and erase all the iCloud info. As soon as we synced it back up all the contacts were still there. I am simply asking what you would do if your personal information was in a complete stranger hands?

    please email me directlly with any advice or doubts. thanks so much.

    adairdetailing@gmail.com

    ----------

    And what is OP? This is my first time ever posting to a blog so I am knew to the lingo. Also after talking with the individual I found out he goes to the same apple store I do (San Tan mall, AZ) even if the phone was refurbished it should not explain the cloud issue. He is with AT&T and I am on Verizon…
     
  15. William.Mantle macrumors 6502

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  16. Peace, Feb 2, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012

    Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #16
    That is patently untrue.

    And earlier you said you took your iPhone in to the store. Not over the phone.


    P.S. do not email this person. It's the email address of a car detailing service. He will merely add you to a spam list.

    If I'm wrong. Then I'm wrong and will pay the price. I'd rather take a bullet for the MR community than see someone added to a spammers list.
     
  17. iCloudbreach thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2012
    #17
    thanks...

    Untrue? Then I guess apple employees were worse than I thought, lying directly to a customer and all. I spoke with the lead apple genius and his manager 2 days ago. Feel free to call the store directly if you are so concerned with me telling the truth (480-366-8477)

    Thanks for your help everyone. All my apple buddies said this would be the best route, but I guess I appear to be a spamming scam artist from out of the country. I will just go the newspaper route. Sorry to bother your special community of blogging.
     
  18. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #18
    On the off chance you may be right where exactly was this information stored ?


    "Normally I would not be too concerned except for the strangers information I had on my phone was personal bank information such as usernames, passwords, and even password hints."
     
  19. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    Nov 6, 2008
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    USA
    #19
    Never said that.
    OP: Original Post or Original Poster.
    Troll: Someone who makes things up for various reasons (attention or fun)

    I am not saying you are lying and I am not saying you are legit. In fact, what I say makes no difference to you or anyone on this forum. My simple point is that if that situation is true like you said it is, then you should follow the simple route of restoring your Apple device. This way, the problem may be solved.

    Lastly, I would not suggest posting your email address on online forums as you wouldn't obtain much out of it (in this case) unless you are selling products and need to be contacted. Keep in mind that we are people like you who may/may not have more experience than you in regards to Apple's products. That being said, try doing a restore as mentioned and see if your problem is solved. Additionally, ignore the off-topic responses (you can never get rid of them).
     
  20. ARSkemp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #21
    You probably shouldn't have made your name iCloudbreach since there are going to be many people that will probably be skeptical of whether you are telling the truth or are a troll since this is your first post. If you do not frequent forums however it is understandable.

    As of right now I do not have an opinion one way or another whether you are telling the truth, but if it is real I am afraid I wouldn't be surprised. Gizmodo had a recent article that revealed a bug that is not the same thing but I would say are they similiar:

    http://gizmodo.com/5880593/the-apple-bug-that-let-us-spy-on-a-total-strangers-iphone

    Unfortunately, the only suggestions I could think of would be to restore your phone as new, set up your own icloud account (free), and then restore from backup. As long as you did not backup your phone with the unwanted contacts I would think this would work. Someone else may have other suggestions though since I have never had any similiar problems myself.
     
  21. iCloudbreach thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    #22
    some answers

    Thanks everyone for your honest help. I can see where you’re coming from on the username, I just assumed it would get me some fast help. The informtion is under my contacts and is stored on the iCloud. I just got a call from Brett Bishop who is some Apple customer relations guy I guess. He remoted into my computer and helped me log into my iCloud. He also could not believe my story but as I opened the discussed contacts he was in shock as he saw personal bank account information and said it was in direct violation of apples privacy policy or some lingo like that. He also said since it is already part of my contacts in iCloud the only way to delete them would be to go one by one…Looks like a fun afternoon for me.
     
  22. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    #24
    In light of the articles I've just read about iMessage, I have a theory. It appears that while the user references phone number or email address to send/receive iMessages, on the back-end the iPhone uses a hardware-specific identifier to communicate with Apple's services. So even if you change SIM cards, or iCloud logins, iMessages will still be directed to devices that were previously registered with Apple's services.

    iCloudbreach, the phone you have now once belonged to somebody else, right? That person probably registered it with iCloud, and when the phone contacts the iCloud service its showing as associated with that account, even though there's a different SIM installed and a different iCloud account configured.

    If this is true, this is very, very bad IMO.
    Given the corroboration of the other articles, my current operational theory is that this is not a troll. :)

    ----------

    Oh, and given the above, deleting these contacts from the phone is probably deleting them from the previous owner's iCloud account as well. They probably will NOT be happy about that. :) And if the previous owner re-adds them to iCloud, they'll just show back up on your phone anyway. With the root cause being your "new" phone is still registered to its previous owners iCloud (his name isn't Ben Kenobi, btw, is it?) the only way to fix it is to somehow de-register it. And sounds like only Apple can do that, and they so far don't recognize it as a problem.
     
  23. scaredpoet, Feb 2, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #25
    While some App Store apps have associated with the UDID, iMessage doesn't' seem to be doing this. It looks like for iMessage, the phone is getting its number off the SIM stored in the phone (activated or not) and using that to associate itself to one's iMessage accounts.

    If this were true, we'd be getting at least as many people complaining about this problem as people complaining about iMessage. If not more. And they would be louder and the proverbial dung would've hit the fan a lot harder.

    What I suspect actually happened:

    - The other guy (I'll call him "PilotGuy") returns his iPhone to the Apple Store, for whatever reason.

    - Perhaps a Genius failed to ask him to reset his phone (as was done with me when I once did a warranty swap-out), or perhaps PilotGuy wanted nothing to do with wiping his phone, as pilots are fancy, busy men with planes to fly, and don't have time for such chicanery and shenanigans. We just don't know. In any case, the iPhone wipe doesn't happen and PilotGuy's old iPhone retains his account info, contacts, data and all.

    - PilotGuy's returned iPhone is reconditioned but not wiped, and returned to inventory as a warranty replacement model. Whoever reconditions these things might've assumed that the wipe was done at the store, since that's how these things are supposed to happen. Apple probably needs to revisit this and enforce a wiping policy more strictly. They might even want to check for this more than once during the refurb process, even though that might take more time than trusting the store took care of it.

    - iCloudBreach has a problem with his/her iPhone and through luck of the draw, ends up with PilotGuy's iPhone. iCloudBreach "syncs" with whatever is holding his/her contacts and info (is it iTunes? iCloud? We don't have details, s/he just says "syncs"), and through some nasty mingling-of-the-data, PilotGuy's data is now inextricably mingled with iCloudBreach's data.

    So now, every time the iPhone in question gets wiped, the moment it's "synced" with whatever this sync source is, it's getting all of PilotGuys' data again due to the mix-up.

    My guess is that if iCloudbreach set up a whole new iCloud account and restored as a new iPhone to that new account, PilotGuy's data wouldn't come back. Though if iCloudbreach wanted to sync his/her desktop with iCloud, s/he would still have to go into her contacts and manually clean up all of PilotGuys' data, or else that data mingling will happen all over again.


    TL;DR: PilotGuy's failure to wipe coupled with some bungling at the Apple Store likely caused this issue, though it's probably not a systematic, endemic problem that will hit everyone who warranty-swaps an iPhone.

    Moral of the story: wipe your data, put a lock code on your SIM, and completely remove your SIM and take it with you if you're handing over your iPhone to someone else for good. And if you get a swapped, sold or otherwise non-new iPhone, wipe it before you use it, sync it, or enter any data into it. Plus: if the SIM in the phone is of questionable origin, remove it first, and either put yours in or get a new one direct from AT&T.
     

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