Apple Has Released an Update to Fix FaceTime Eavesdropping

Sheri Evans
February 9, 2019

Group FaceTime will remain disabled for all iOS users running iOS 12.1.3 or earlier.

Apple told outlets that a fix would come later that week, but it instead arrived this week, delivering to the iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later and the 6th generation iPod touch.

And that patch is ready with Apple confirming that an update is available for iOS 12 right now. Daven Morris, who per Macrumors is a software engineer from Texas, likewise gets a shout-out in Apple's supporting note for iOS 12.1.4.

Over a week ago, it was discovered that 3rd party callers could potentially eavesdrop via FaceTime if they initiate a Group FaceTime without having you to accept the call. What made this bug so serious was how trivial it was to leverage, and it forced Apple to pull the plug on the feature at the server end while it developed a fix.

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However, Apple has now restored the Group FaceTime server for all users who are on iOS 12.1.4. However, the ability to add new participants to a FaceTime call by swiping up the screen wasn't available at the time of filing this story.

While an Apple spokesperson did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment on the bug bounties, on Thursday it apologized to its customers regarding the FaceTime flaw.

The company noted that a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service also brought to light a previously unidentified vulnerability in its Live Photos service. The two vulnerabilities, known as CVE-2019-7286 and CVE-2019-7287, were related to a "memory corruption issue". Macs are also getting an updated version of macOS 10.14.3 to fix the Group FaceTime flaw, as this feature is also built into that platform. These will download in the background and install overnight when the device is connected to mains power.

From this menu tap Software Update and check if any updates are ready for your device.

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