Wednesday, 24 October 2012 07:34

Apple IOS 6 and Exchange Meeting Request Ownership Change (meeting hijacking)

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We have been hearing (at least for last couple of weeks) that the Apple IOS 6 which is released along with Apple iPhone 5 is creating some issues with Microsoft Exchange Server when using Active Sync feature. The actual issue is “the meeting request’s owner is changed (or meeting hijacked)", and according to MS almost every call raised on this issue was some or the other way related when the meeting request is acted on IOS 6 devices. MS has already contacted Apple and has officially written on their Exchange Blog.

As you know, the IOS 6 is now available to update of other compatible Apple devices, so it is recommended not to update the new version (if you are an Active Sync user) until Apple announces the fix. Few ways to work around (precautions / mitigations) the situation as mentioned in the Exchange Team Blog are,

    • Tell users not to take action on calendars on iOSWe're not seeing this particular issue if users don't take action on their calendar items (for example, accept, delete or change meetings).
    • Switch iOS users to POP3/IMAP4 Another option is to switch users over to POP/IMAP connections. This will remove calendar and contacts functionality while allowing users to still use email (though the email may shift to pull from push while using these protocols).
    • 3rd party clients/OWA Moving impacted users over to another email client that is not causing these issue for your organization may help alleviate the pain here. There are a number of other client options (OWA being one of them of course). Numerous clients are available in mobile application stores. We don’t recommend any particular client.
    • Block delegates Many of the issues we are seeing involve delegates. An admin can take the less drastic step of using the Allow/Block/Quarantine list to block only users who are delegates, or have a delegate, to minimize the impact here.
    • Block iOS 6 devices Exchange server comes with the Allow/Block/Quarantine functionality that enables admins to block any device or user.
    • Tell users not to upgrade to iOS 6 or to downgrade their devices – This solution may work as a temporary fix until Apple provides a fix but many users may have already made the decision to update.

MS Exchange Team do not have any information on the timeline of a fix from Apple but if this timeline is short, this may be the easiest course of action. Please contact Apple about any potential fix or timeline for its delivery.

Look the below article from Exchange Team for more info,

iOS6 devices erroneously take ownership of meetings

Meeting in Attendee’s Calendar Loses Track of the Meeting Organizer

Update - Apple informs that this issue is addressed in the iOS 6.0.1 Software Update. See the post iOS 6.0.1 Software Update fixes Exchange Meeting Hijacking Issue for more details


-Praveen

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