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iPad/iPhone decoding issue with incoming emails tagged by Eset


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Hi,

A buddy of mine recently asked for help because all the emails he sent to his contacts (including me) were unreadable (HTML incorrectly decoded) when received on an iPad or an iPhone (no problem with other mail clients including Outlook). He is sending his emails with Outlook and he is using Eset Smart Security. However, I'm also using Outlook to send emails, I'm also using Eset (Nod32) and I didn't have this problem. After spending hours doing various tests, we eventually found the cause of this issue.

I am not letting Eset add tags to my incoming or outgoing mails unless they are infected. My friend was adding these tags to all emails. As soon as he disabled this option, the problem disappeared. The problem can be reproduced at will.

I had a look at the RAW message data once it has been tagged by Eset. The part inserted by Eset is not very clear about its encoding, to say the least. Obviously, most email clients can deal with this but there's apparently a problem with emails processed by the Mail application on the iPad and the iPhone. It's well known that this app handles encoding automatically in a very special way. Apparently, this processing doesn't like the Eset tags very much.

This problem could be observed on various iPad / iPhone and is fully reproducible. Of course, this problem is apparently on the Apple side but I'm not sure that the HTML text added by Eset is very clean. So both parties should talk about this, I think.

More generally, Eset seems to have recurring problems with Outlook. For example, the problem of the duplicated mails when "Integrate into Outlook" is enabled is still waiting to be fixed.

Edited by Samoréen
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We've never recommended to enable adding tag messages to all scanned email, only to infected ones. Especially with html emails there can be a problem adding the appropriate html code at a correct place if the html code is non-standard. Tag messages should only use ANSI characters, ie. no accented characters should be used. However, in the localization process it may happen that the message appended to email is accidentally translated. Are you able to reproduce the issue with English version of ESET?

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1 minute ago, Marcos said:

Are you able to reproduce the issue with English version of ESET?

I just checked this and the problem didn't appear (I'm using the English version of Eset and my friend is using the french version).

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12 minutes ago, Marcos said:

However, in the localization process it may happen that the message appended to email is accidentally translated.

Actually, it's not only the text added by Eset that is incorrectly decoded. It's the whole message.

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5 minutes ago, Samoréen said:

Actually, it's not only the text added by Eset that is incorrectly decoded. It's the whole message.

Here is the kind of message that we can receive :

Merci pour ce suivi de mon problème. C’est super, comme d’hab.
J’ai regardé mes options Outlook et, comme je le pensais, j’ai bien html par défaut et non rich text (Outlook 2007).
Il faut sans doute chercher avec la police. Celle-ci était Calibri par défaut. Voici donc un nouvel essai avec Arial. Vois-tu toujours le pb sur ta tablette ?

If the tag option is disabled in Eset, the message is clean.

Edited by Samoréen
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I insist on this : this is a problem that is specific to the iPad and the iPhone. There's absolutely no issue with the very same messages when received on another email client when the tags are enabled. As mentioned above, iOS has a special way of handling encoding/decoding. There's no option in the Mail application to handle this. The encoding/decoding processes are automatic. However, iPads and iPhones are used by a lot of people, so the problem cannot be neglected. Maybe a simple recommendation for those Eset users receiving their emails on these devices would be enough ?

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