What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone

Written by:
Katie Robertson
Date Posted:
29 January 2019
Category:
Security

FaceTime software flaw found

Apple is rushing to fix a flaw that has been found with FaceTime software that allows eavesdropping on conversations, even if the recipient does not pick up.

The cause
The flaw effectively turns a user’s iPhone into a microphone when a FaceTime call is being made, despite the call still ringing through. In some cases, the infected device could even send a video without the receiver’s knowledge. The flaw seems to dupe a call recipient’s iPhone into thinking it is on a group call, which involves more than two people.

Who is affected?
This flaw doesn’t stop at iPhones – it has also affected Mac users if the call was made from an iPhone. The bug has been reported to occur when both users are running version 12.1 of Apple’s iOS, or more recent versions.

Data privacy
There has been increasing concern over privacy by regulators around the world, especially as the flaw was exposed yesterday on Data Privacy Day. The annual event aims to raise awareness amongst businesses and consumers about the importance of protecting data. Not the best timing…

The solution
As a temporary solution, Apple has now shut down group FaceTime calls in iOS and macOS whilst they fix the major security flaw. To avoid the flaw altogether, we recommend disabling FaceTime on all your devices until Apple’s software updates have been released to fix it.

If you want to turn FaceTime off yourself you need to:

– Go to settings
– Scroll down to the FaceTime icon
– Switch the button from green to grey

Update 30/01: The FaceTime bug was apparently discovered by a 14 year old gamer in the US, whose mother tried to contact Apple by various methods to report the bug. Apple apparently only took the issue seriously when word of the flaw started going viral on social media.

Have you been affected by the FaceTime flaw? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @hyve.

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