CNet Explains the iPhone OS 3.1 vs. Exchange Server Problem: Hardware Encryption & Lying iPhones

Did your iPhone or iPhone 3G suddenly stop getting email with your firm’s Microsoft Exchange Server after you updated to OS 3.1? CNet’s Jim Dalrymple provides a clear explanation of what happened in this article…

Apple explains iPhone OS 3.1 Exchange changes

Here’s the gist of it…

– If you have an iPhone 3GS, you don’t have any problem. It has hardware encryption.
– If you have an iPhone or iPhone 3G and Exchange Server 2007 with hardware encryption turned on, you have a problem

The issue is caused because of an error in the way the iPhone and 3G models represented themselves under OS 3.0 to Exchange Server. If your Exchange Server requires hardware encryption, it was being lied to previous to the 3.1 upgrade and was let in despite the lack of this feature.

Since Exchange Server 2007 apparently doesn’t actually check for hardware encryption (it can be lied to), I suspect some enterprising developer will figure out a way to have the original iPhone and 3G to say they have hardware encryption and work with Exchange Server 2007 again. Of course, that defeats the whole purpose of saying you have secure email.