FaceTime bug lets iPhone users eavesdrop on people they’re calling without them answering

Updated: Jan. 28, 2019 at 9:40 PM CST
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(WAFB) - A bug in Apple’s FaceTime feature caused quite the stir on social media Monday, when users learned they could essentially eavesdrop on the people they’re calling and see through their front-facing camera, even if the other person hasn’t picked up the call. CNN senior editor Brian Ries reported there were several times he successfully used the “hack” that has now gone viral.

According to CNN, Apple released a statement Monday night confirming it has identified a fix for the problem. The fix will be issued in a software update later in the week.

The bug works on iPhones and iPads running iOS 12.1, and Apple PCs running macOS Mojave.

It is activated when calling someone via FaceTime. After the phone begins to dial, swipe up to add another person to the call, and add your own phone number. The person who initiated the call is then able to hear the live audio on the other person’s phone, even though the recipient has not accepted the call. The person who received the call is given no indication that their conversation is being transmitted. In some cases, the bug can also show live video of the other person if they press a volume button to dismiss the call.

CNN reports an easy fix to avoid falling victim to the bug is disabling FaceTime on all your devices until Apple’s software updates have been released.

Users can disable FaceTime by going into Settings, navigating to the FaceTime section, and toggling off the green button at the top of the screen. To turn it off on a Mac, open the FaceTime app and go to FaceTime on top of the screen, then select “Turn FaceTime Off.”

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