CyberTech

Level 20
Verified
Apple's FaceTime might make it a little too convenient to drop in on a friend. Reports have emerged of a bug that lets you listen to the other side's audio before a call has even started. All you have to do is start a FaceTime call, add a person, and choose your own phone number when prompted. If you try that, you effectively start a group call while the other side's device is still ringing. It's not necessarily eavesdropping, especially when the other side can hear you, but it could easily lead to catching someone off-guard.

Engadget has confirmed that the technique works, and it should apply to any call started from an iOS device running IOS 12.1 or later. This also applies to calls made to Macs using Mojave.

We've asked Apple for comment. There's a good possibility it can address this glitch through a software update in the near future, but it's not a great look when the firm just used CES to troll Amazon and Google over their approaches to user privacy. Clearly, Apple isn't completely immune to privacy issues -- even if they're the result of bugs rather than intentional policies.

Update 1/29 8:04PM ET: An Apple spokesperson tells Engadget that the company is "aware of the issue" and that a fix will arrive as a software update "later this week." It's a good thing, too, as a recipient who hits the power button to dismiss the call will send video.
 

LASER_oneXM

Level 31
Verified
A serious Apple iOS bug has been discovered that allows FaceTime users to access the microphone and front facing camera of who they are calling even if the person does not answer the call.

To use this bug, a caller would FaceTime another person who has an iOS device and before the recipient answers, add themselves as an additional contact to Group FaceTime. This will cause the microphone of the person you are calling to turn on and allow the caller to listen to what is happening in the room. Even worse, if the person that is being called presses the power button to mute the FaceTime call, the front facing camera would turn on as well.

What this means, is if someone is calling you on FaceTime, they could be listening and seeing what you are doing without you even knowing.

BleepingComputer has tested and confirmed that this bug works in iOS 12.1.2 and we were able to hear and see the person. When testing it against an Apple Watch, though, we were not able to get the audio portion of the bug to work.