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Apple Group FaceTime Security Flaw Explained

FaceTime

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - JUNE 16, 2014: Facetime Application On Apple iPad Air. FaceTime is a videotelephony and voice over IP (VoIP) software application developed by Apple for iOS and Macintosh. - Image (Radu Bercan / Shutterstock.com)

Apple has disabled their Group FaceTime feature to fix a security flaw.

A bug in Apple’s FaceTime video calling feature has allowed anyone to call a phone or Mac and listen in before the other person picks up the phone. The flaw works by adding yourself to a FaceTime call before the recipient picks up the phone, tricking FaceTime into thinking it is an active call, forcing the person you’re calling to turn on their microphone and transmitting audio from the iOS or macOS device.

As of Tuesday morning, Apple has disabled the Group FaceTime feature, and reports suggest there is already an update fixing security issue for most iOs and MacOS users. That said, according to The Verge, some people are still able to reproduce the security flaw. Apple is also planning on fixing this issue with a software update later on this week. In the meantime, you may want to disable FaceTime from working on your Apple devices. You can disable FaceTime by disabling the feature in the iOS settings and on the Mac by opening Preferences, then unchecking “Enable this account.”

Group FaceTime Release

Apple Jobs Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock.com

Group FaceTime first launched last October 2018 with the iOS 12.1 update. It is worth pointing out, a security flaw was discovered within days of the iOS 12.1 release involving the new Group FaceTime feature. Moreover, it is not clear how long this new FaceTime security flaw has existed, but it could have been open for at least three months.

New York Apple Privacy Consumer Alert

Apple is working hard to fix this issue and protect the privacy of iPhone, iPad, and Mac users around the world. New York governor Andrew Cuomo released a consumer alert on Tuesday to warn New York residents about the FaceTime security bug. “The FaceTime bug is an egregious breach of privacy that puts New Yorkers at risk,” says Governor Cuomo. “In light of this bug, I advise New Yorkers to disable their FaceTime app until a fix is made available, and I urge Apple to release the fix without delay.”

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