Once in a while we see a flaw in iOS that may render a whole app unusable. Up to now, these bugs have affected apps like Safari and Messages. A brand new bug in iOS 16, nonetheless, can utterly lock you out of the Mail app with a single e mail that accommodates some bizarre textual content within the “from” area. Listed here are the small print and the way it impacts every mail service…
iOS 16 Mail app crash as a consequence of rogue textual content
The flaw was found by the parents at Equinux, which makes a VPN Tracker service for Mac and iPhone. The staff found this bug in iOS 16 whereas analyzing spam emails.
We began seeing iOS mail issues for a number of individuals on our staff: Mail was crashing instantly on launch.
It seems the staff had all obtained the identical spam message. Trying on the uncooked supply of the message did not instantly reveal any purple flags – it was a fairly primary HTML e mail. Nonetheless, a take a look at the mail headers confirmed that the spammers had performed one thing uncommon within the “from” area.
Normally, the “From” area in an inbound e mail seems to be like this:
- From: [email protected].
However the maliciously crafted e mail has a “From” area that appears like this as an alternative:
- From: “”@instance.com.
What this implies, in accordance with Equinux, is that “anybody can ship any iOS 16 consumer an e mail that may lock them out of their inbox.” They’ve created a type area on their web site that you should utilize to check the flaw, which they’re referring to as “Mailjack.”
Mailjack can impression the Mail app on any system working iOS 16 (the steady launch), iOS 16.0.1 on the iPhone 14, and the most recent iPadOS 16 betas, however there are some caveats. Some mail companies, together with Gmail, Outlook, and Hotmail rewrite inbound emails to stop issues like this from occurring.
Moreover, Gmail and Yahoo block these maliciously crafted emails completely. However one of many e mail companies that does not do something to guard in opposition to these emails is iCloud Mail, Apple’s personal first-party possibility. There are additionally quite a few IMAP mail companies that “don’t appropriate or rewrite inbound mails.”
A easy approach to take a look at is to make use of your iCloud e mail account, however be aware that it might be marked as spam (it’s essential test your spam folder). Notice that not all e mail suppliers will ship the message as they may rewrite emails earlier than delivering to the system.
The e-mail might additionally get trapped within the “Spam” inbox. On this scenario, the Mail app will crash each time you take a look at your spam inbox. That is higher than if the e-mail was to seem in your major inbox, however emails are capable of escape to the first inbox fairly simply relying on the sender.
The answer to this drawback, for now, is to delete the e-mail out of your account on a tool that is not working iOS 16 or through a distinct mail shopper:
As quickly as you delete the e-mail out of your account utilizing one other system, totally different e mail shopper or on the net, Mail updates your inbox and stops crashing. Transferring the e-mail to a subfolder in an IMAP e mail account may even repair your inbox, however Mail will crash once more when you navigate to that folder.
We have reached out to Apple for remark. In the intervening time, you may take a look at the Mailjack flaw for your self on the Equinix web site or simply test the GIF under. (I examined it and do not suggest making an attempt it, however that is as much as you.)
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