FaceTime has detected a significant bug that is currently spreading viral on social media. With the error, you can call anyone on FaceTime and hear the sound coming from their phone right away – before the person on the other end has accepted or rejected the incoming call.
Of course, this is a pretty problematic problem because you can basically listen in to any iOS user, even though it still rings like normal, so you can not be 100% concealed. On the receiver side, there is no indication that you could hear their audio.
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9to5Mac has reproduced the FaceTime error with an iPhone X calling an iPhone XR It's believed to affect every pair of iOS devices iOS 12.1 or higher.
How to FaceTime iPhone Error:
- Start a FaceTime video call with an iPhone contact.
- While the call is in progress, swipe on Tap at the bottom of the screen and tap Add person.
- In the Add Person screen, add your own phone number.
- You then start a FaceTime group call that includes you and the original person's audio, even if you have not answered the call yet.
It'll look like the other person joined the group chat, but it still rings on the lock screen on their device.
While the call is ringing, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and add yourself.
The damage potential here is real. You can listen to the sound bits of an iPhone user's ongoing conversation without them ever knowing you could hear them. Until Apple fixes the bug, it's not clear how you can defend yourself against this attack, except completely disable FaceTime.
When the phone rings with an incoming FaceTime request, the person on the other end might be listening in.
We also replicated the problem with an iPhone calling a Mac. By default, the Mac rings longer than a phone, so it can act as a bug longer.
It is not clear whether the iPhone FaceTime error can be fixed on the server side or whether Apple has to roll fast to perform a software update. At least somewhat reassuring seems that the error does not release the video camera for covert spying – only the microphone.
– Benji Mobb ™ (@BmManski) January 28, 2019