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iOS Bug Gives Unauthorized Access to User’s Facetime Audio and Video

A bug in Apple devices running iOS 12.1 or later could leave users open to eavesdropping through Facetime. When it was initially reported, audio was believed to be the only piece affected but now it is known to give access to the front camera as well. The bug begins to work when a user is called through Facetime. If the caller is able to add themselves to Group Facetime before the recipient answers they will have access to audio.  If the power button were to be touched to mute Facetime, that would turn the front camera on. Another method of accessing video was found as well. When the issue was replicated, it was discovered that if the call was joined through another device by invitation the camera could be accessed while the call was still ringing. Although it was found to affect Apple products running iOS versions 12.1 and higher, it was tested on an Apple Watch, but the microphone was not able to be accessed. Apple is expected to address the issues with a patch later this week.

Analyst Notes

To temporarily solve this issue, users will want to disable Facetime on their respective devices. To do this, users should go to settings, find the Facetime tab and toggle the switch off so that appears in grey. Users should be on the lookout for Apple’s patch sometime within the next week that fixes this issue so that they can toggle facetime back to the “on” position.