It’s Time For FaceTime, Whether You Have Time For FaceTime Or Not

If you’ve tried to make a Group FaceTime call recently and haven’t been able to, there’s a very good reason for that. Apple has disabled it.

Basically, somebody discovered what seems to be a very simple bug that makes it possible for anyone to see and listen to a person through an iPhone or Mac’s camera and microphone even if that person hasn’t answered the call. That’s…like…bad and stuff.

The bug works by simply dialing another user, then swiping up and inserting the originating number via the “Add Person” screen before it is answered. FaceTime apparently is thus tricked into believing that a Group FaceTime conference call is occurring, transmitting audio from the recipient’s device whether or not they have accepted or rejected the call.

Gizmodo was able to replicate the bug in a matter of seconds simply by following those steps.
According to the Verge, this very serious security issue is compounded by another: While said “conference call” is happening, if the recipient hits the power or volume button to ignore the call, their device will start sending audio as well as video from its front-facing camera, again without any visual notification (though in this instance, it also activates the caller’s audio). That flaw was further confirmed by Mashable and BuzzFeed News, the latter of which noted that activating Do Not Disturb mode appears to at least block microphone access.

Apple says that there should be a fix available sometime this week and as noted, has disabled Group FaceTime until it arrives. So next time you get notified of an update, maybe don’t ignore it.

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