Every so often, we see a flaw in iOS that can render an entire app unusable. In the past, these flaws have affected apps like Safari and Messages. However, a new bug in iOS 16 may completely shut you out of the Mail app with a single email that contains some weird text in the from field. Here''s a list of all the types of emails you receive.
iOS 16 Mail app crash due to rogue text
Equinux, a software company that provides a VPN tracker for Mac and iPhone, discovered this bug in iOS 16. During a survey of spam emails.
Mail was on the way to the start of our iOS mail situation, but it was immediately removed.
The team had all received the same spam message. However, a look at the source of the message did not immediately reveal any red flags. Nevertheless, a glance at the mail headers indicated that the spammers had done something different in the field.
The From field in an inbound email appears to be normal:
The maliciously created email has a From field, which is reminiscent of the one shown here.
- From: @example.com.
According to Equinux, anyone can send any iOS 16 user an email that can be locked out of their inbox. Theyve created a form field on their website that you can use to probe the flaw, which they call Mailjack.
Mailjack may have a direct effect on any iOS 16 device (the stable release), iOS 16.0.1 on the iPhone 14, and the most recent iPadOS 16 betas, but there are a few flaws. Some mail services, including Gmail, Outlook, and Hotmail, remove inbound emails to prevent such things from happening.
These maliciously created messages are blocked entirely by Gmail and Yahoo. But one of the email services that does not do anything to protect against these emails is iCloud Mail, the Apple''s own first-party option. There are also a number of IMAP mail services that do not correct or rewrite inbound mails.
You may easily test your iCloud email account, but note that it may be marked as spam (you must verify your spam folder). Note that not all email providers will send the message, as they may rewrite emails before sending it to the device.
If the email was to appear in your primary inbox, it might also be trapped in the Spam inbox. In this scenario, the Mail app will crash every time you look at your spam inbox. This is better than if the email was to appear in your primary inbox, but emails can emigrate to the primary inbox quite easily depending on the sender.
For the time being, the solution to this problem is to remove the email from your account on a device that isn''t running iOS 16 or via a different mail client:
Mail updates your inbox as soon as you delete the email from your account using another device, another email client, or on the web. Mail stops crashing. This includes sending the email to a subfolder in an email account, but Mail will fail once more if you navigate to the folder.
Weve received an email from Apple for clarification. For the time being, you may try the Mailjack glitch for yourself on the Equinix website or simply check the GIF below. (I tested it and do not recommend it, but it''s up to you.)