Apple to fix bug in Facetime that allows users to eavesdrop

Apple demonstrates Group Facetime at WWDC 2018

Apple on Monday night blocked the Group FaceTime feature as a temporary measure to prevent the exploitation of this bug.

A vulnerability in the software for the video calling facility reportedly let users hear audio and see video of the person they are calling irrespective of if they pick up. Of course, that person can hear you as well, but only if it's aware that a FaceTime call is in progress. "Until Apple fixes the bug, it's not clear how to defend yourself against this attack either aside from disabling FaceTime altogether". The Cupertino-based company finally rolled out the feature again in last October.

To use this bug, a caller would FaceTime another person who has an iOS device and before the recipient answers, add themselves as an additional contact to Group FaceTime.

An Apple support page listed Group FaceTime calling as "temporarily unavailable" as of 7:16 PM here (03:16 GMT) due to an ongoing "issue" that was not specified.

As always, bugs happen, so all we can do is wait and see how well and quickly Apple fixes it. Bloomberg reports that users need to launch a conference call, input their phone number and then add the number of an additional person. If the recipient of the call hits the right side button or the volume button to ignore the call, video from their iPhone will be broadcast back to you.

FaceTime software enables voice or video calls using iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, and Macintosh computers. "The FaceTime bug is an egregious breach of privacy", Cuomo said in a statement, the New York Post reported. Users might want to disable FaceTime until then.

To disable FaceTime on a Mac, open the FaceTime app and select FaceTime Turn FaceTime Off. This is apparently exactly the case with iOS, as users recently uncovered a bug in the operating system that allows FaceTime users to listen to microphone audio from any user without their actual permission.

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