Apple’s eavesdropping bug lets Facetime users spy on each other

2019-01-30 11:59
iPhone. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

iPhone. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

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A security flaw in Apple’s Facetime video and chat software allows you to spy on another iPhone user without their knowledge.

On 19 January, 14-year-old Grant Thompson from Arizona in the US found he could eavesdrop on his friend’s phone before his friend had even answered the call, The New York Times reports.

The next day the boy’s mother, Michele Thompson, sent a video of the hack to Apple alerting the company of the major security flaw – but her warning fell on deaf ears. She was told to set up a developer account and send a formal bug report.

More than a week later Apple finally reacted after the Facetime flaw was reported by a separate developer and an article about it appeared on the Apple fan site 9to5mac.com. The article went viral.

Sites such as The Verge and BuzzFeed were able to replicate the bug and found the caller can get access to a user’s front-facing camera if the person receiving the call presses their phone’s power button.

In a statement to the media Apple said it was aware of the bug and would address it in a software update later this week, Variety reports.

The company hasn’t addressed its slow response to the warning issued by Thompson or explained how the bug was able to pass through quality assurance.

Until Apple fixes the issue, concerned users are encouraged to disable Facetime in iOS settings.

Sources: The New York Times, Variety, 9TO5Mac

Read more on:    apple  |  spy  |  iphone
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