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Apple rushes to fix FaceTime ‘eavesdropping’ bug

Apple has acknowledged a flaw in its FaceTime software that allowed for brief eavesdropping – even if the recipient did not pick up.

A major bug has been discovered in iOS that lets a caller hear and see a person on the other end of a FaceTime call before the call has been answered. This security issue allows you to take a digital peek into another person’s life — completely without their knowledge. 

As 9to5 Mac reports, the bug is simple to exploit. First, you call someone on FaceTime. Next, before they answer, swipe up and add yourself to the call. That’s it. You can hear through the person’s phone, all without them answering the call.

 The flaw appears to occur when both users are running version 12.1 of Apple’s mobile operating system, or newer. The technique involves using the software’s group chat function, apparently confusing the software into activating the target’s microphone, even if the call had not been accepted. The eavesdropping ends when the call is cut after too many rings.

Apple stated that they had developed a fix and an update would be rolled out this week. In the meantime, it appears they have disabled the ability for users to make group calls on FaceTime.

Top Tips: 

  • If you have IOS 12.1 or newer, ensure you disable FaceTime on all your devices until Apple’s software updates have been released.
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