Published: Tue, January 29, 2019
Technology | By Nina Perez

Apple FaceTime glitch lets you silently snoop on others

Apple FaceTime glitch lets you silently snoop on others

FaceTime is a video chat app developed by Apple and supported on iOS devices and Mac computers.

God knows how, but someone in the Twitterverse discovered a way to listen through the phone of another user of Apple's FaceTime service even if that person doesn't answer a call. In summary, all you have to do is start a FaceTime call. 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. Without the recipient answering the phone, audio from the other user's phone is then streamed to the caller. 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. If the person you're calling happens to hit the power button after you created the Facebook group, you'll then get a live shot of whatever is in front of their front-facing camera. Apple should shut down FaceTime for everyone if that's what it takes.

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Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, speaks about group FaceTime during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, June 4, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. And that could be a very, very, very disastrous bug (via 9to5Mac). It is believed the bug impacts any device running iOS 12.1 or later. Exploiting the bug requires only minor effort and it appears disabling FaceTime is the only protection from it.

In a statement to CNET, an Apple spokesperson said, "We're aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week". Otherwise, people cannot only listen in on what you are doing, but in some cases also see what you are doing.

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