Disable FaceTime Now! Bug Lets Callers Snoop On You Without Permission

Rosanna Arquette Claims Harvey Weinstein Spies

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. If you include yourself in the call, you will then start an audio call between yourself and the person you are ringing, even before they answer the call.

Apple iDevice users worldwide are reporting a privacy intrusion bug in the built-in FaceTime communications app that lets callers watch and listen in on other parties during unanswered calls. After starting a FaceTime call with another iPhone user, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to add another user to the call and add your own phone number. This will cause the microphone of the person you are calling to turn on and allow the caller to listen to what is happening in the room.

The site also found that video calls to Mac were affected by the same bug, and that in certain circumstances an attacker could also get access to a target iPhone's camera feed before it had picked up.

Apple reckons it'll push out a software fix for this privacy gaffe later this week. The release of Apple's Group FaceTime calling feature was delayed a number of months due to software bugs.




Apple announced the feature last summer, but then removed it from early test versions of its iOS 12 operating system. It's unclear how long Apple has been aware of the bug and if the company had plans to disclose it prior 9to5Mac posting about the flaw.

"I don't know about you, but I'm disabling FaceTime on my Mac and iPhone until this is resolved", he wrote.

The recipient was not able to see or hear the FaceTime caller.

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