iPhone FaceTime bug allows unauthorized camera, microphone access

by Kim Boateng Posted on January 29th, 2019

A bug has been discovered in Apple’s FaceTime video and calling service that allows callers to hear and see the person they are calling before the call has been accepted.

Apple said it has identified the security issue and it will be fixed with a software update that will be released later this week, BuzzFeed reported.

However, a video showing how the bug can be accessed has been spreading on social media, 9to5 Mac reported.

The bug is only accessible if both the caller and the recipient use iPhones with the FaceTime application installed and running iOS 12.1 or later. To access it, the caller must start a FaceTime video call, and while the call is ringing add themselves again to the call through making it a group FaceTime call. This will then transmit the audio from the call’s recipient to the person who initiated the call without the call having been picked up, 9to5 Mac reported.

The camera can also be accessed without the call having to be picked up through this bug if the call recipient presses the “volume down” button on the side of the iPhone, BuzzFeed News reported.

Disabling FaceTime, which can be done through the iPhone’s settings, will prevent this bug from being manipulated, 9to5 Mac reported.

BuzzFeed News also reported that the bug cannot be used if the call recipient has their phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode.

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