Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP
A glitch in Apple's FaceTime app allows users to hear the other person – and in some cases watch video – even if the recipient has never answered the call. The error was widely reported late Monday and confirmed by several technology reporters. Until it provides a permanent solution, Apple has simply disabled face calls from FaceTime.
"The damage potential is real," wrote 9to5Mac. "You can listen to the soundbites of a running iPhone user without knowing that you could hear them, until Apple fixes the bug, it's not clear how you can defend against this attack, except for completely disabling." FaceTime. " The bug only worked on devices upgraded to iOS 12.1, which introduced group video calls. In a statement made available to USA Today and other media, Apple says that "this issue is known and we have found an update that will be released later this week in a software update." Last night, the company temporarily disabled the entire FaceTime functionality of the group.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo urged the New Yorkers to turn off FaceTime until the problem was resolved. "The FaceTime error is a monstrous violation of privacy," Cuomo said in a statement that New York Post reports. "I am deeply disturbed by this irresponsible mistake that can be exploited for unscrupulous purposes."
It is not clear how long the vulnerability existed. The group FaceTime was introduced on October 30th, and according to Verge the error "could be exploited for three months".
The glitch may panic investors already in alarm Apple said it had lowered its revenue expectations this quarter, reflecting lower demand for iPhones and unexpected difficulties in the Chinese market. Apple's fourth quarter 2018 results are scheduled for today.