For iPhone users, the iMessage platform is quite a popular alternative to traditional SMS text messaging. But did you know there’s a glitch that allows a third party to sneak in, view, and even participate in your iMessage conversations? It doesn’t matter if you reset your password, disable your iMessages app, or even perform a remote wipe of your phone. On the flip side, though, it also isn’t exactly an easy glitch to exploit.
Okay, so here’s the deal. When you register your iMessages app, it look at the phone number on your SIM card and then apparently never looks at your SIM card again. It never ties this information to your Apple ID or anything else that registers the app to your actual phone. As such, some iPhone users have found out that if you use iMessages from one iPhone, and then put the SIM card in another iPhone, the same iMessages account appears in both phones.
That’s right. Even the original phone, without a SIM card, still has an active iMessages app. And even if the SIM card finds its way back to the original iPhone, any other iPhone it had contact with will have access to the same iMessages conversations. So if you let your friend borrow your iPhone, or you happen to lose it, or you take it in for repairs at a shady store, anyone who had access to your SIM card can infiltrate your iMessages account.
Even if you perform a remote wipe, it won’t change the fact that the third-party iPhones have registered your SIM card. The only way to cut off access to those “spying” iPhones is to call your carrier and completely deactivate your SIM card. The third-party phones see everything, including message you send and messages you receive. And they can even pretend to be you and send out messages of their own. Now of course, this requires someone else to physically have access to your SIM card and have an extra iPhone lying around without its own SIM card. Chances are that won’t happen to the average iPhone owners. But it is a glitch, and something as private as text messaging conversations will always be a hot button issue. For now, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of software fix on the way.
[via The Verge]