Apple acknowledged the FaceTime bug that lets iPhone users eavesdrop on the recipient, even if they didn’t pick up. Some users reported that the bug could send videos without the recipient’s knowledge. It appears that a mom and her teen had tried to warm Apple of the bug, but made no head way.
After the news about the bug went viral, Apple acknowledged the flaw and disabled the feature, until the bug is fixed so other users don’t exploit the flaw.
According to reports, the flaw occurs exclusively with users running version of 12.1 of Apple’s mobile operating system IoS or newer, and Mac computers. When a user puts a call through, the software’s group chat function confuses the app into activating the recipient’s microphone, even when the call is yet to be accepted. This is a huge privacy flaw for Apple. Imagine the receiver murmuring or cursing the caller before eventually using a golden voice to eventually pick the call?
The mom, Michele Thompson who claims that her son uncovered the bug by chance when he tried connecting with his friends with the app says she tried fruitlessly to alert Apple via email and twitter, CNN reported. It was after the news became viral that she took to Facebook to bare her concerns about how the company had treated the issue with laxity. Before then, she had requested for her son to be compensated with an iPhone X, a MacBook and a new pair of Airpods for his timely discovery.
“My teen found a major security flaw in Apple’s new iOS. He can listen in to your iPhone/iPad without your approval. I have video. Submitted bug report to @AppleSupport waiting to hear back to provide details. Scary stuff!”
Eventually, she learned that she needed a developer’s account to submit a flaw, and so, her son still went ahead to report the bug via email and an explanatory video to the iPhone maker’s Product Security department.
This is quite an awkward timing for Apple. Not only is the bug a breach of privacy that puts the users at risk, the company is passing through a difficult moment with recent losses in countries outside the US where they have a market.
If you wish to switch off FaceTime until the bug is fixed, you may follow the procedure below:
- Go to settings
- Scroll down to the FaceTime icon
- Switch button from green to grey