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Snippet: FaceTime is Buggy ☇

Shared on January 28, 2019

Benjamin Mayo for 9to5Mac:

A significant bug has been discovered in FaceTime and is currently spreading virally over social media. The bug lets you call anyone with FaceTime, and immediately hear the audio coming from their phone — before the person on the other end has accepted or rejected the incoming call. Apple says the issue will be addressed in a software update “later this week”.

Naturally, this poses a pretty privacy problem as you can essentially listen in on any iOS user, although it still rings like normal, so you can’t be 100% covert about it. Nevertheless, there is no indication on the recipient’s side that you could hear any of their audio.

There’s also a related bug that gives access to the camera:

What we have also found is that if the person presses the Power button from the lock screen, their video is also sent to the caller — unbeknownst to them. In this situation, the receiver can now hear your own audio, but they do not know they are transmitting their audio and video back to you. From their perspective, all they can see is accept and decline…

This is a really bad and embarrassing bug. Apple needs to address this immediately and do all they can to stop this server-side (if possible) until the fix is released. For now, it’s probably a good idea to disable FaceTime.

Update: Apple disabled Group FaceTime as a temporary workaround. All things considered, this was a rather quick turnaround on a first step towards a fix.

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