iPhone Bug Saves Deleted E-Mail

The flaw appears to be connected to the Spotlight search feature in the Apple iPhone 3.0 software.
An apparent bug in the iPhone 3.0 software enables users to search through e-mail messages that were supposed to have been completely deleted.

The potential security flaw afflicts iPhone and iPod Touch devices, and it has been recorded on a YouTube video by a man named Matt Janssen. He used a second-generation iPod Touch with the 3.0 software to demonstrate the flaw, and it enabled him to view messages from months ago even after Janssen thought they were deleted.

The flaw appears to be connected to the Spotlight feature that was rolled out with the latest iPhone software. The bug lets this universal searching feature bring up deleted e-mail subject lines, as well as full messages, even if the user has emptied the iPhone's trash folder. Despite the flaw, this feature has been generally well-received because it enables users to quickly search through e-mails, notes, apps, calendars, music, contacts, and other media files.

"These messages are still on the iPod somewhere, even after you delete them, but you can't find them without searching for them," Janssen said. "Like I said, this is a security issue, a bug, and hopefully Apple will fix it in some later releases."

Apple has not yet responded to media inquiries regarding the potential security flaw. The issue could likely be fixed with the next firmware update, which beta testers said will also offer improved voice controls, better video editing, as well as more application programming interfaces for developers to tap.

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