How was a fake SMS message sent from an iPhone? Was it hacked?
September 15, 2013 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Last night my sister claims her iPhone received a text and somehow her phone replied to the text. Neither the sender nor my sister sent the message. Both of them own iPhones and were dining together in a restaurant when the messages were sent. My sister hadn't noticed the text exchange until this morning.

The sender's message: Blah. Blah. Blah.
My sister's message: F*ck off!

I've never heard of something like this. My sister, who doesn't use profanity, is upset and wondering how this could have happened? I'm thinking there's more to this story, but my sister claims neither of them sent the message to each other. Is this even possible?
posted by Bushmiller to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
did they go to the bathroom and leave their phones on the table? Sounds like someone was just playing a prank or something.
posted by katypickle at 4:12 PM on September 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

Was it a text message or an iMessage?
Were they connected to the restaurant's wifi?
posted by bluecore at 4:14 PM on September 15, 2013

If anybody else uses the same Apple ID, this can happen in iMessage. For example, if one of their children uses the same ID, all the messages show up on any device signed in unless you specifically change the settings so it doesn't.
posted by tamitang at 4:22 PM on September 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

If it was a SMS, it's possible they were spoofed. There's several services that allow you to send text messages as any phone number.
posted by andrewconner at 4:48 PM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

But you can't spoof a response.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:51 PM on September 15, 2013

It would be useful to know whether both of those messages appeared on both of the phones.
posted by waldo at 7:29 PM on September 15, 2013

Response by poster: Both sms messages were sent at the same time, 8:21 pm. My sister did note one thing... she remembered her friend saying..."Blah, blah, blah." She wondered if somehow, Siri could picked that up and have sent the message. But that still doesn't explain my sister's phone's response. These are two women in their fifties, so it's unlikely they were being pranked by friends.
posted by Bushmiller at 7:29 PM on September 15, 2013

This is not an unheard of problem, if you google it you get several relevant posts on the issue.

I can't provide any solutions or help on how to resolve this, but i've heard about it happening both online and in person specifically with iphones. It's possible, but no one seems to really know what's going on.

Also, this is almost definitely an iMessage related problem.
posted by emptythought at 7:34 PM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Perhaps an old version of iOS + using iMessage on an open,unsecured wifi network allowed her password to be sniffed? I would:

Update her iPhone to the newest iOS
Enable two-factor authentication on her AppleID
Have her change her AppleID password
Disable auto-join to wifi networks (if there is such a setting)
posted by bluecore at 9:13 PM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

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