Apple's FaceTime bug lets people spy on you: Here's how
A weird bug has been detected in Apple's FaceTime service, one that can be used by bad actors for the purpose of spying. The vulnerability stems from FaceTime's group calling feature and allows anyone to listen in on you, even when you haven't picked up the call, 9To5Mac reported. Apple claims the issue will be fixed by the end of this week. Here's more.
The bug triggers from FaceTime's 'Add Person' option and lets anyone access your phone's microphone. So, in essence, you'd see an incoming FaceTime call but won't realize the other person might be listening in on what you're saying. More worryingly, when you tap the power or volume-down button, FaceTime even gives the caller access to your front camera feed (with call still not answered).
The FaceTime bug can be triggered by starting a call with any iPhone contact and switching to group calling. For this, swipe up the screen while making a call and hit the 'Add Person' option. Then, enter your own number on the 'Add Person' screen to switch into a group call. Voila! You will start getting the audio feed from the recipient's end.
The issue has been replicated on the latest iPhones, last year's iPhone X, and the iPhone 8. This seems to suggest that all iPhones, iPads running iOS 12.1 or newer are plagued by this bug. However, some people found that the microphone won't be accessed if the recipient has 'Do Not Disturb' activated on their device.
When the issue started going viral on Twitter and Snapchat, Apple took note of the matter and announced the bug will be fixed soon. A spokesperson said the company is "aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week." Notably, in the meantime, Apple has made Group FaceTime temporarily unavailable.