FaceTime bug lets iPhone users eavesdrop on persons they're calling

FaceTime bug lets iPhone users eavesdrop on persons they're calling
UPDATE: Apple has temporarily taken down FaceTime until it fixes the issue. You are no longer required to disable the feature from the Setting menu since FaceTime is now offline. An update that should address the privacy problem is scheduled for later this week.

It appears that Apple inadvertently introduced a FaceTime bug with the release of iOS 12.1 late last year. The issue was recently discovered and while it definitely poses a major privacy problem, Apple won't be able to fix it until later this week.

The bug allows iPhone and iPad users to eavesdrop on someone they call using FaceTime, 9to5Mac reports. Basically, when you call someone using FaceTime, you will immediately hear the audio coming from the other phone/tablet even if that person hasn't answered the call yet.

Of course, that person can hear you as well, but only if it's aware that a FaceTime call is in progress. Even so, the person called will definitely be caught off-guard whenever it receives a FaceTime call, so the best way to prevent that from happening is to completely disable the feature until Apple fixes it “later this week.”

In order to trigger the FaceTime bug, you have to start a call, add a person, and choose your own phone number when prompted, thus you'll start a group call even if the other person's phone is still ringing.

The issue affects any pair of iPhones running iOS 12.1 or later, but also calls made to Macs using Mojave. You can disable FaceTime on your iPhone by heading to Settings and toggle the FaceTime icon to gray.

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22 Comments

1. monkeyb

Posts: 413; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

This is quite disturbing. Hope the release an update without breaking anything else asap. Luckily I have been using whatsapp video/audio calling more rather than FT.

6. monkeyb

Posts: 413; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

Update: Apple seems to have killed group FT feature till the issue is resolved. I think this is a very good move.

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

This bug can also send video of the recipient without them knowing, if they press the Power button on the lock screen with the call still ringing. https://twitter.com/9to5mac/status/1090050162880335872?s=21

2. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Obviously. Apple's software always have problems. I never believe then /s

3. koioz

Posts: 177; Member since: Nov 29, 2018

But..But.. Android has lot of malware. #isheep'sresponse

4. Vogue1985

Posts: 488; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

Oh gosh, thank goodness I don't use it that much.

5. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

So now they're releasing NSA features to the public?

7. e8ght

Posts: 27; Member since: May 25, 2013

Well, so much for the "What Happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone"

8. Samfruit

Posts: 32; Member since: Sep 11, 2018

Another bug ? The bugs ios generates is more than the features on the software itself

10. Charlie2k

Posts: 151; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

Why on earth would anyone use Facetime when Skype and Whatsapp exist?

11. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Why use third party software when your phone has this feature itself and has better integration. Sure it only works for Apple users but a lot of the contacts have an iDevice

12. blingblingthing

Posts: 979; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Pretty sure even more users have whatsapp

17. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Not only pretty sure, I am 100% sure more users have Whatsapp. But they are not all in my contact list, are they? So if I would use my iPhone as a daily driver, I would use FaceTime with the users who also have an iDevice. Why switch to a 3rd party app if you can use what's built-in?

13. Charlie2k

Posts: 151; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

It has better integration than Skype and Whatsapp? In what way?

14. lyndon420

Posts: 6861; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I think he meant to say it's already pre-installed on his phone so that's why he uses it.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I don't use it, since I have an Android phone as my daily driver

16. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

From within a normal call, you can switch to a FaceTime call (if the other end supports it) without starting a different app.

18. Charlie2k

Posts: 151; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

Sounds like a very good feature, only criteria is that the one you speak to has to be one of the few that own a iOS-device. Im saying "few" since less than 6% of the people you can give a call has a iOS-device, and im not even counting all the people with landlines which would mean even less people.

19. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

True, but especially in the US I think most iPhone users only have friends with iPhones as well (you don't belong to their crowd if you don't have the blue messages in iMessage ;))

20. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

What!!! I don't believe it, lmao, iPhones never have bugs

21. lyndon420

Posts: 6861; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Defenders of the fruit are absent. Go figure lol.

22. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Always are LMAO

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