Deleted iPhone Notes found to remain in iCloud storage long after their 30-day expiration time

Deleted iPhone Notes found to remain in iCloud storage long after their 30-day expiration time
Russian company Elcomsoft has a thing about breaking into Apple software and pointing out security flaws. It's a darn fine sport if you really know what you are doing, and the Russkies do.

Their latest discovery is that notes written into the Notes app and sync'd to iCloud remain in storage after the user deletes them, and long after the 30-day period of keeping them in the "Recently Deleted" category has expired. This goes contrary to Apple's claim that notes are permanently deleted after 30 days. They might be – on your iOS device – but their ghosts remain in the cloud.

Thankfully, at this point accessing those iCloud zombie notes is only accomplished via Elcomsoft's proprietary Phone Breaker tool. It's able to download and extract all notes from iCloud. In the given example, an iPhone 7 with 288 notes stored on it nets 334 notes downloaded from the user's iCloud account. The 46 extra notes are long-gone material that Apple kept in online storage for some reason.

This policy is inconsistent across different devices. In one instance, Elcomsoft found deleted notes dating back from 2015, while another probe only showed notes retained for two weeks after the 30-day expiry period. Apple has been alerted for the situation and is expected to eventually deliver a fix, based on previous rapport between the companies.

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source: Elcomsoft via SlashGear

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8 Comments

1. manishmuscat

Posts: 12; Member since: May 07, 2017

"you are deleting it wrong' this will be the excuse

2. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

People actually use Apple Notes? Lol i like Awesome Note

7. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

You beat your previous record, this is your shortest comment. Keep it up, hopefully you will converge to no comments soon.

3. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Once you put it on someone else's HDD (aka cloud storage), it's safe as being shared with everyone. Nothing is private on a public cloud service...

4. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

That's true even with Google Photos, Google drive or any cloud storage for that matter... That's why I don't use any of those cloud storage stuff. I fill my portable hard drives with my photos, videos, movies, notes and what not. When they get full I buy new ones. We can't trust anybody these days. I've disabled all the cloud Apps In my S7. Prevention is better than cure.

5. mixedfish

Posts: 1545; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

There's this brilliant little invention called a Micro SD card.

6. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Well, there's something we 100% agree on. I too disabled all of google's cloud sh*t on my OnePlus One. Use this 2-in-1 MicroSD Card OTG adapter ( https://goo.gl/r72P2E ) whenever I need to free up space on my OnePlus One. My next phone is definitely going to have a built-in MicroSD card slot, otherwise, not worth the upgrade to my OnePlus One...

8. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Pretty much and is why I like to keep things locally but it seems oems are intent on forcing us to use the cloud by limiting available storage on phones. Same thing with the desktop space as a lot of devs want to shove the use of cloud computing down our throats, especially Microsoft.

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