Apple plans to patch a bug within iOS that has allegedly enabled email data to be hacked from a number of iPhone handsets.

A security vulnerability within the iOS Mail app was exposed by the ZecOps security firm on Wednesday. According to the researchers it has been the target of hackers since 2018.

The San Francisco-based company said it had “high confidence” the exploit, which is triggered when the user opens the stock Apple Mail app, has been used in the wild against unwitting iPhone users.

“The vulnerability allows to run remote code in the context of MobileMail (iOS 12) or maild (iOS 13),” the ZecOps team write in a report. “Successful exploitation of this vulnerability would allow the attacker to leak, modify, and delete emails.”

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