Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Mail app bug: How can you protect documents stored on iOS 7 devices?

Andy Whittlestone
Senior Software Developer
Egress Software Technologies Ltd.
Late last month, Andreas Kurtz, of NESCO Security Labs, published claims on his personal blog that attachments in the Mail app have not been encrypted at rest in iOS 7, as Apple assures user they are, since at least version 7.0.4 and including the current version, 7.1.1.

Kurtz discovered the bug by restoring an iPhone 4 to iOS 7.1 and 7.1.1, and setting up an IMAP email account. After performing certain tests, Kurtz found that all attachments were accessible without any encryption, with the same proving true for iPhone 5s and iPad 2 devices.

While Apple has responded to the claims – with a spokeswoman declaring: “We’re aware of the issue and are working on a fix which we will deliver in a future software update.” – they haven’t provided a timescale for when a fix will be available.

Protect your email attachments on iOS 7 devices

With mobile devices being used increasingly more often to send and receive personal and commercially sensitive documentation, it is imperative that this information is protected.

Encrypting email attachments as ‘.switch’ files, the Egress Switch Secure Email app secures documents when stored on iOS 7 devices. These files can only be accessed using the correct credentials and the Secure Email app, which also gives users the ability to deny unauthorised access attempts and, if required, revoke access to sent information.

Consequently, while Apple works to resolve the Mail app bug, Switch will continue to enable users to share confidential information with confidence. 

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