It seems that Apple is scrambling to fix a massive flaw with their video chatting service in an attempt to quickly resolve an embarrassing — and invasive — eavesdropping bug.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, earlier this week, a video posted to Twitter began making the rounds, which revealed a flaw with Apple’s FaceTime service. For those who need a refresher, FaceTime is a proprietary videotelephony service that is exclusive to Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs. The service allows two or more people to begin chatting (with a live audio and video feed) that works over Wi-Fi or cellular connection.
Apple has responded to the recently uncovered bug and is pledging to fix it in quick order. As reported by CNBC, the technology giant pledges to re-enable group FaceTime with a software update that is scheduled to release sometime next week.
The bug can be activated by any FaceTime user who initiates a call. Once a caller begins dialing a contact, they can choose to “add a person” to a call by swiping up from the bottom of their device’s screen. If the caller opts to enter their number, a group FaceTime chat will begin, regardless of whether the original contact picked up or not.
— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) February 1, 2019
As a result, it became possible to eavesdrop and spy on people. The only way this could be avoided is if the recipient of the call were to refuse the call in the first place.
Apple released the following statement, addressing the security bug, and their promise to re-enable Group FaceTime next week.
“We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process. We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix,” the statement from Apple reads.
As reported by MacRumors, it seems Apple is planning to fix the Group FaceTime bug by pushing out a new iOS update, speculated to be version 12.1.4. As a result, those who opt to remain on iOS 12.1 through iOS 12.1.3 will find that Group FaceTime will remain disabled.