There's a flaw in iMessage – but we won't know what it is until Apple fixes it

iPhone 6S
iPhone 6S

Researchers have found a flaw in the encryption of Apple's iMessage system that means hackers may be able to see your photos.

Students at John Hopkins University found that the flaw affected those running outdated Apple software, which means if you run iOS 9.2 software you'll be safe from the issue.

Apple is working on a fix to the problem and the researchers won't reveal the exact issue until Apple has issued a patch.

Flawed system

An Apple spokesperson said to The Washington Post, "Apple works hard to make our software more secure with every release."

"We appreciate the team of researchers that identified this bug and brought it to our attention so we could patch the vulnerability... Security requires constant dedication and we're grateful to have a community of developers and researchers who help us stay ahead."

This exact issue was originally fixed in the iOS 9 system update, but for those who haven't updated it could still affect the security of their messages.

The researchers found by using software that mimics Apple's servers they could access iMessage on some people's phones.

Computer science professor Matthew D. Green, who ran the research into the flaw, originally noticed the problem last year.

He soon notified Apple and after Apple failed to act he and his students set up a project to discover a way to expose it.

It's expected Apple will be launching iOS 9.3 by the end of the day at the iPhone SE keynote, so update to that software and you won't have to worry about your iMessage being compromised.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.