Malicious iCloud Bug Deleting iWork Documents Without User Approval

By | September 30, 2014

Earlier in September there was a lot of criticism of Apple due to the security problem in its iCloud storage service, because most media outlets blamed Apple for allowing hackers to retrieve nude pictures from about a hundred different celebrities. Unfortunately Apple’s newly launched iOS 8 has been found vulnerable to a different bug that is causing problems for iOS 8 users.

Following the official launch of iOS 8 some smaller bugs were discovered in the operating system, and these were quickly patched in Apple’s iOS 8.0.1. Now we’re learning that the critical vulnerability in iOS 8.0.1 could be the reason why data stored in iCloud Drive is being deleted without permission of the user.

iCloud-Reset-All-Settings

This bug was discovered after a forum member from MacRumours complained about the problem being triggered by the option to ‘Reset All Settings‘. Normally this will reset your network settings to provide a clean slate to start with, but apparently this feature is also deleting files from iCloud Drive.

In the Settings for iOs 8, under the ‘General’ category, the option of ‘Reset All Settings‘ is meant to reset your iOS settings at the same time retaining your media and data: the option specifically states that ‘No media or data will be deleted’.

Sadly that’s not the experience of users who have installed the new iOS on their Apple devices, as some iCloud documents disappeared after the user pressed the Reset All Settings button.

According to MacRumors, the user comments on this issue show that this bug appears to be specific to documents contained within iWork apps, such as Keynote, Numbers and Pages. Many users have reported that they lost all their iWork documents after they used the option, with the original user who noticed this problem reporting that the only apps that were affected were Apple’s productivity apps: other data files stayed in iCloud.

Of course it’s not only the iOS 8 devices that these documents vanish from. They disappear from the systems running OS X Yosemite and from the web-based iCloud Drive manager as well. If you have a backup for your files you can retrieve all your documents from there. However, your documents are gone forever if you don’t have a backup.

MacRumors conducted its own test on the bug and reported, “In our own testing, using “Reset All Settings” deleted all iWork documents stored in iCloud Drive on the iPhone and on iCloud.com. After allowing time for syncing to a Mac running OS X Yosemite, all of the documents disappeared from that machine as well. Preview and TextEdit documents, which cannot be accessed on the iPhone, remained untouched on the Mac.”

Users who have iCloud enabled are being advised to not use the ‘Reset All Settings‘ option until this issue has been fixed by Apple: this should protect your documents stored in the iCloud Drive from being erased.

iCloud was recently involved in the scandal when celebrity nude photographs were posted online, due to Apple’s ineffective security measures on certain functions.

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