FaceTime bug lets iPhone users eavesdrop on persons they're calling

Apple demonstrates Group Facetime at WWDC 2018

Enlarge Apple demonstrates Group Facetime at WWDC

A major new bug introduced in iOS 12.1 allows anyone to exploit a bug in FaceTime Groups to listen in on the audio (and potentially see the video) of anyone else using iOS.

The bug allows a user to call someone on FaceTime and automatically begin hearing the other person before they pick up the call. The person who initiated the call is then able to hear the live audio on the other person's phone, even though the recipient has not accepted the call.

As reported by 9to5Mac, the FaceTime bug can be activated when a caller adds his or her own phone number through the Add Person feature during FaceTime Video call. Even worse, if the person that is being called presses the power button to mute the FaceTime call, the front facing camera would turn on as well.

As far as security flaws go, this one is particularly serious, especially given the emphasis has Apple placed on privacy recently when it comes to its devices and operating systems.

What this means, is if someone is calling you on FaceTime, they could be listening and seeing what you are doing without you even knowing.

The bug is believed to affect any pair of iOS devices running iOS 12.1 or later.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a representative from Apple said that the company is "aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week".

"I don't know about you, but I'm disabling FaceTime on my Mac and iPhone until this is resolved", he wrote. At this point in time, disabling FaceTime or immediately dismissing FaceTime calls appear to be the only protection against snooping.

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