Strange bug sending undeletable ghost mails from 1969-70 to iPhone users

Eerie bug: Some iPhone owners receiving undeletable emails from 1970 and 1969

Apple’s iOS operating system for iPhones and iPads is no stranger to eerie bugs. Earlier we had a bug which crashed iPhone if the date was set to 1 January, 1970. If that was not strange enough, now, iPhone users are complaining about being hit with another strange bug which causes users to receive ghost emails from 1969 and 1970 that cannot be deleted.

The bug was reported by Reddit users on this thread. ConduciveMammal noted that an error with the mail server not downloading the headers correctly appears to be causing some iPhone owners to receive undeletable ‘null’ emails dated back to December 31, 1969 or January 1, 1970.

Strange bug sending undeletable ghost mails from 1969-70 to iPhone users

Another commenter on thread explained that the issue probably stems from the way iOS handles UNIX time, or Epoch time as it’s also called. In UNIX time, January 1, 1970, at midnight, is the starting time when counting started.

“The date of January 1st, 1970 simply means there’s no data for the date,” reads the post. “No one crafted the email maliciously, it just has no data.”

From the looks of it, this bug looks the extension of the earlier infamous ‘January 1, 1970’ bug which can brick some devices. The Jan 1, 1970 has been fixed by Apple in the forthcoming iOS 9.3 software update.

If the date stamp on some of your emails is set to 1970 and you cannot delete these messages, try disabling your Mail account in Settings → Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

Now exit Settings and go to Mail and the null messages should be gone. Go back to Settings and re-enable your email account. This issue only seems to affect Apple’s stock Mail app and when changing time zones.

Apple has so far not commented on the bug.

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