Apple Facetime bug allows other people to eavesdrop on you

By Tyler H.

A bug discovered on January 28, allows its users to listen to the people they are calling without them picking up the call. The bug has also been reported to be able to see through their front-facing camera.

“We are aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week,” said an Apple spokesperson earlier this week. In the meantime, Apple’s website has shown that Group Facetime is currently unavailable. Apple has confirmed this and has started disabling the Group Facetime feature for all of its users.  

The way the bug starts is with a person starting an iPhone call with an iPhone contact. While the call is dialing, the person must swipe up from the bottom of their screen and tap add a person. The person must then add their own phone number in the add a person screen.

A tech reviewer, Benjamin Mayo, has tested it and has verified it as a real bug. “I tried placing a video call to my editor from my iPhone using Apple’s FaceTime app. Then, before he picked up, I used the menu option to add somebody else to the call and added myself to the call. Suddenly, I could hear my editor, even though he never picked up.”

When the bug is activated, the person who started the call is able to hear the live audio on the recipient’s phone, even though the recipient has not accepted the call. The recipient’s screen has no indication that the conversation is in session.

A user, named Benji Mobb, had also found another feature to the glitch. “If the person you’re calling tries to end it by tapping the power button on their phone, it sends a video but no audio. That means the person calling you can see a video of you or your surroundings as if you’d answered the call.”


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