Quoted: iMessage and the Secret Service

The Secret Service has lately been in some hot water because they failed to backup the text message (and iMessage?) history of the devices issued to their staff during an MDM transition. I talked some with Jason Snell from Six Colors in a recent piece about what happened:

iMessage histories may be device specific and limited, and if they were not utilizing iCloud Backup (for Federal Government Cloud Reasons) it is possible that when the devices were wiped and setup anew with the MDM — so that the devices are supervised by the new MDM — the previous history was lost.

In short, I suspect they were prohibited from using any iCloud service because iCloud isn’t FedRAMP certified for security, and when they wiped the device to set them up with the new MDM service, they could not restore even a local on-disk backup, because those backups would’ve stored the supervision identity and the MDM enrollment from the previous MDM service.

iMessage and the Secret Service, Six Colors, Jason Snell

If this is what happened, I feel for the admins who planned this migration and made mistakes and poor choices.

If this isn’t what happened, and it was done with intent, I hope there are hearings and action.