BlackBerry users grin smugly as iOS update wreaks Exchange server havoc; opens passcode vulnerability

An iPhone and a BlackBerry Z10
By Simon Sage on 14 Feb 2013 11:10 am EST
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You might have heard that the recent iOS 6.1 update has been causing quite a few headaches for corporate users. One issue causes a heavy load on the Exchange server, which ultimately locks up mobile access to e-mail. 

When a user syncs a mailbox by using an iOS 6.1-based device, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Client Access server (CAS) and Mailbox (MBX) server resources are consumed, log growth becomes excessive, memory and CPU use may increase significantly, and server performance is affected.

This results in end-users getting an error message saying "Cannot Get Mail - The connection to the server failed." The cause? Apparently this bug has to do with responding to an exception to a recurring calendar event. 

That's not the only issue with iOS 6.1. There's also a glaring passcode bug that allows users to bypass an iPhone's lock screen and get right into the call log and address book.  

As we're all well aware, BlackBerry can handle calendar events just dandy, and BlackBerry 10 specifically is built to play nice with Exchange ActiveSync. Plus I don't think any of us have ever been worried about our lock screens being bypassed. There's been a lot of talk about iOS grabbing enterprise market share, but with issues like this, it's easy to see why IT admins might rather issue BlackBerry devices.  

Those of you working in a corporate environment, have you noticed your iPhone-toting colleagues having issues?  

Via: iMore

Reader comments

BlackBerry users grin smugly as iOS update wreaks Exchange server havoc; opens passcode vulnerability

89 Comments

lol yup done nothing but wreck all of the clients i work with... i support about 40+ clients using BB android and ios... ios has caused masssssivvveeee problems making my job that much more fun. sucks being a systems admin when stuff like this happens but always helps me to recommend BB.

That reminds of the TBS (TV Station) commercials where a person call the hotline and describes the situation and the operator tells them what level of funny it is.

After the years of " oh I didn't even think blackberry was still a thing, stop living in the past, iphone is the way of the future, iphone or bust, I can't believe you still have that thing"
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..
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They deserve every bit of it.

Speaking as an Exchange and BES administrator: iOS sucks! If it were up to me I would be blocking all 6.1 devices but the higher ups won't let me do it.

+1 same here, so hard to convince Execs that a consumer product is not the right fit for an enterprise...unless if you don't care about security.

PCGuy514 ‏@PcGuy514
"OWA only until this is sorted, Cant Downgrade IOS6.1 so we are in the process of blocking them. #BYOD #blues #IOS #Exchange #MDM"

That's what i spent Saturday fixing, had to rant on twitter too...

soooo ..... TRUUUEE in more ways then one. Ie - my charger pins got bent from their own charger - I got "you must has plugged it in wrong for this to happen" REALLY ! ONLY ONE WAY ! thanks GENIUS !

guess my Darth Zader force choke pic is coming true. May the Force crush the iphonies into oblivion. also you can unlock the screen on an iphone by button mashing. hahaha toddlers the world over will delete everything now...that phone is a toy at best. the i in iphone stands now for Imperfect.

What's interesting to me is how Apple continual gets away with releasing relatively untested software to the masses. For years they got away with it because people didn't have a lot of different configurations of iPhones (and fewer still in the enterprise) and their code base was new and easy to maintain. The world is flipped now: iPhone is the big incumbent to unseat and iPhone OS is the oldest major OS of any mobile platform.

I wonder if Apple will have to go to a model of carrier specific mandated testing, like we've seen so horribly with BlackBerry over the years. Verizon is on 7.1.0.355, but AT&T is only on 7.0.1.288, but not for this device, etc. It's code soup over there, and when you fix one thing, you break two others.

Ultimately, heading down that road sucks for everyone. Developers hate it because fragmentation runs rampant. They can't count on someone having 6.1.1 which has this API call, so they don't use it. They either forgo the feature (likely) or write some alternate method to get the feature done (complicated). Eventually, iPhone OS stops being worth developing for. Consumers hate it because certain apps don't work very well, and you can't get the new features Apple is touting in a new release until AT&T verifies it. Android/BlackBerry/Windows can innovate faster and cool features come out there first.

Sorry, I forgot that my comments were supposed to be edited and filtered to meet the high criteria of the "Internet Comment Board" which regularly permits and encourages comments like "F1RST!! Oh, and this sucks."

Tangent, but related....

I could be wrong, but isn't BB10 designed around side stepping this painful issue? I haven't looked hard enough, but I thought the carrier piece was separated out so it didn't effect the base code. Again I could be wrong.

In theory, but that hasn't been the case with the 3g/4g playbook so far, maybe we will see more of it later on, but we shouldn't bank on it.

Yeah, that's probably it. I would suggest you take a look at it. We are only doing a proof of concept for ActiveSync right now and had just 3 iOS6.1 devices on Exchange and we did see an increase in logs from just a few devices. Now it wasn't enough to cause any issues obviously, but it was there. We did a throttling policy on those. There is a MS article on this problem somewhere..

Someone hacked into a number of our Apple phones last month, and gained a lot of access codes.
We are planning to drop all Apple phone immediately. It is not worth taking a chance.

So, how's that BYOD initiative going? iPhone in corporate? Yeah, right.

This is the new, post-Steve Jobs Apple. Things will never be the way they were before with them.

(anxiously awaiting my Q10)

This is what i dont get :
Bbm goes out for a few hours ....crazy media stories start to pop up ,about how aged bb is ,that its doomed ,that it sucks and bb is evil
Apple drops the ball and everyone is like ooh its cool ,just a little mistake no worries, we love fruit
What is wrong with the world

"Apple drops the ball and everyone is like ooh its cool ,just a little mistake no worries, we love fruit"

.....We love fruit

Oh that made me laugh!!

If anyone posts something about the issue at apple.com they will do what they do best there. Delete any posts saying anything negative about Apple. The gravy train is coming to an end for Apple. Stocks are taking a dive and soon the company will be as well.

No innovation is left with their stale product launches of the same old same old AMAZING stuff.

Yawn..

Oh kinda like on this site... You say one negative thing here about BlackBerry and you are labeled a troll and your account is suspended.

What gets me all steamed up is I haven't seen any news headline talking about this issue but I bet if this was a BB issue we'd see it mentioned everywhere!

Lol . . .this the. First place I've seen this story and I have RSS feeds for a bunch of tech sites . . .interesting

Might want to check into your feed. This was on tech blogs several days ago. I first saw it on Tuesday on The Verge and we took steps Wednesday to mitigate the issue.

Simon, your "a glaring passcode bug" link just sends you back to the CrackBerry homepage.

Si.

This security thing is so overblown. I have a 4 digit password on my iPhone and that is all you need. This other stuff is really boring and therefore unimportant. I will always love the iPhone because it is shiny.

Apple is where BB was in 07-08 - still on top but rotting from within.
I've got no hate for Apple as such - I just don't like their products or their proprietary attitude. And I came to that conclusion by using their products.
What I dislike is the blind drinking of the Apple water. The whole, "everybody has an iphone so I'll get one too." .
And the whole idea that Apple is secure.
The only reason Apple was 'secure' was because nobody bothered writing viruses for them.
Now they are starting to be a target.
It won't happen overnight, but ultimately Apple will go back to what they have always been - a very good niche player.
"Does not play well with others. "

All those unsold iphones what to do? HOME DEPOT must have received quiet a deal. Can't blame them for going for it but HOLD it!! is Blackberry and Home Depot on the phone? Apple and Google same OLD software repackaged. 4 4s 5 5s? 6 G1 G2 G3 note1 note2. ' IT JUST WORKS BETTER ON BB10. Coming this spring. I will post my It just works better on BB10 ad on Youtube.

Blackberry I live in New York. I want to get on the train and see it in ever car.

IT JUST WORKS BETTER ON BB10

COMING MARCH 2013

ARE YOU A Z10 OR Q10?

or any other idea you have.

i would LOVE to see that on the A train when i visit home in march!

on a side note....
Man i miss the subway!

I find it interesting just how little Press Apple gets on an issue as serious as this one. If this happened to BB, it would be front page on every news site, blog, and ..........WALLSTREET.

hey guys/gals can you find the exchange issue anywhere on BGR? I was looking, can't seem to see it......hmmmmm I wonder.

The fix is available, I think, but for iPhone 4S only. But, the pass code error is still in the 6.1.1 'fix'. Our IT dept emailed about it today, so I don't even think when the update hits iPhone 5 that those users will be allowed on our servers. Mind you, we have 10s of thousands of employees and anyone who chose iPhone for their BYOD is unable to use it for work calender, email, etc. They still have a lot of apps to pass the time whilst they can't work...

the 4s fix is for vodafone users who are loosing signal or not getting any reception at all after a 6.1 upgrade.

No exchange fix "that i know of" yet...

This is DANGEROUS.....

North Korea may hack into Home Depot server, and find out where they are stashing all the wood and nails.
Then, they can build weapons of mass destruction.
The USA government must shut down The Home Depot IMMEDIATELY because they do not care about their citizens, and are a potential threat to their own country men.

Does nobody see this?????

LOL couldn't happen to a more deserving company then Apple. IN YOUR FACE iSHEEP LOL.
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I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

By now I think it is fair for me to say that new os will have bugs. Company will have to distinguish themselves by how quickly can they fix those bugs and issue a update to their users.
My company IT just out an email recommended iPhone users not to update to version 6.1.
TMO_9000_32GB_PB

So I think I figured it out. It appears to be a synching issue between the Exchange server and iTunes. If you can just remove the Exchange server and replace it with iTunes it will be flawless! ;)

I think this just goes to show that no software is without issues. Again, it's a matter of what is right for you. If you are in a sensitive work environment (and let's face it, what work environment is NOT sensitive anymore) then you need to ensure data security first and foremost. End of story. However, if you are using it for personal reasons, then you have to decide how secure you want your device to be vs the other shiny features. Then the only person to suffer from data hacking would be you.

This goes to show a long standing issue Apple has had (which is also an issue early Android had), not being corporate centric devices. iPhone and Android were created as consumer devices that can do corporate email as well. Not the other way around. Why companies are going to iPhone is because of users clamoring for them usually from the top down as 'status symbols' of executives. Phone status symbols eventually end up mass market if anyone recalls the original Motorola Razor and Tmobile Sidekick. They were devices of the celebrities until suddenly you saw everyone having them. Now all I hear in my work is people wanting iPhone to do this that or the other thing. Meanwhile this is the second calendar bug in iOS with Exchange. This is the first huge security hole that we know of. How many other holes are in iOS we just don't know about? Why does Apple get passes on these things? If BB had such issues it would be leading news on the networks. You barely hear about these iPhone issues.

Two things I love about Blackberry. One is the keyboard prediction, the other is the BES server handling my email instead of using my account. This allows my BB to get and send email even if I lock out my account. Unlike IPhone which CAN lock out my account if I don't change the PW on it when Active Directory requires I change my password. Then it gets and sends nothing. I have dealt with this numerous times for users who setup email on their iPad and when they have to change their PW suddenly their account is locked and they have no idea why. Unlock it, a day later it's locked again. They get angry, I ask about iOS devices and 'ohhhh I get email on my iWhatever" did you change the PW on it? Silence.

What I hate about Blackberry, having to wait for my Z10!!!!!

Oh well, I guess it'll be fun to cause more havoc by making calendar entries on purpose for your iBuddies to scream and panick about. :P