Apple Releases iOS Patch to Fix Major FaceTime Privacy Bug

Posted on February 7, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, iOS with 9 Comments

Apple is today releasing iOS 12.1.4 to iPhones this evening. The company’s latest update to iOS includes a critical fix for a serious FaceTime bug that appeared earlier this month.

A bug in FaceTime allowed the person calling someone else on FaceTime to accept the call, letting them hear the recipient’s microphone before the call was even picked up. The bug was a problem with Group FaceTime, a feature Apple launched with iOS 12.

The company was quick to remotely disable Group FaceTime, though that completely disabled the Group FaceTime feature. Today’s patch completely fixes the issue, meaning you can once again make Group FaceTime calls without having to worry about this bug.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Apple Releases iOS Patch to Fix Major FaceTime Privacy Bug”

  1. MikeGalos

    It's amazing that this bug made it out of Apple. And amazing how little press coverage it got considering it allowed turning a consumer device into a literal way to spy on people.

    • pecosbob04

      In reply to MikeGalos: For a guy who has such a religious devotion to msft, it's amazing how obsessed you are with all things Apple.


    • Hoomgar

      In reply to MikeGalos:  I'm not usually one to debate but considering we are talking about Apple, neither one of those things are surprising at all.  Quite the opposite.


    • RadarOReilly

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      "How little press coverage"?? Are you kidding me? It was on the national evening news. It was on the morning "news" shows ("Today" etc.). It was ALL OVER the web. Non-tech friends were asking me about it. You've really got to get over this obsession of yours man.

    • jmurray

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      If I am not mistaken the bug took a few precise steps to work, that's probably how it made it out of Apple. When testing there are only so many scenarios you can think of.

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to jmurray:

        To get audio-only snooping it took calling somebody on FaceTime and then adding yourself to the call to trigger it to be Group FaceTime. That was it.


        To trigger turning on the camera so you could spy with video and audio it took a few extra steps.



      • MikeGalos

        In reply to jmurray:

        Realistically, it wasn't that much of a corner case and it shouldn't have even been architecturally possible. This was a clear example of them adding "group" functionality to a legacy product as a hack and in a hurry to meet a competitive check box.

    • dontbe evil

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      because it's apple, not ms ... funny that apple with their arrogance could easily blame the users, let's make the apple security flaws recap of the week:


      • engadget.com/2019/02/07/iphone-screen-recording-analytics/
      • neowin.net/news/macos-vulnerability-lets-attackers-access-passwords-in-the-keychain
      • engadget.com/2019/01/30/uae-surveillance-iphone-hacking/
      • www.engadget.com/2019/01/29/group-facetime-bug-privacy/


  2. captobie

    Is the fix going to be worse than the bug? Apple has had enough update issues lately that I'm going to wait awhile until I apply it. This is a big change for me, I used to always update immediately when they became available.

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