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iMessage flaw continues pushing messages to stolen iPhones

updated 03:45 pm EST, Thu December 22, 2011

Deactivating old SIMs, Apple IDs only solutions

A flaw in iMessage has been allowing stolen iPhones to continue receiving and sending messages for their original owners, even after a remote wipe, reports note. Although iMessage is also nominally associated with a person's Apple ID, changing a linked password and/or email address may have no effect. It's believed that iMessage may be pulling old phone numbers from a cache, and using that data to manage messages. Switching a SIM card to a new iPhone may in fact take iMessage traffic with it.

Only two methods appear to halt misdirected messages. The first is to wipe a phone, call a carrier and have its SIM deactivated, and then activate a new SIM in a new phone. Alternately a person can completely cancel an existing Apple ID and start a new one, but this may have serious drawbacks, as it can cut off access to media and data a person has linked with iTunes or iCloud.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    two problems

    How do you deactivate a SIM for a Verizon phone?

    How do you dare claim this is an issue with iMessage and not the carrier. If you have to call the carrier to cancel the sim, get a new phone, and activate a new sim, doesn't that mean it must be the carrier's fault?

  1. Tralthamidor

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Text messages:

    Me: Officer, I used 'find my iPhone' and found my stolen iPhone again! It's at 123 Main Street, apt. E

    Officer Bob: Sorry, it wasn't there. Strange, they always seem to know that we're coming...

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