Do you have an iPhone? If you use your device to regularly FaceTime with family and friends, you need to read this important info. Tech website 9 to 5 Mac recently discovered a bug within the software that could give other Apple users the power to spy on your calls. And here’s where things get really weird: you don’t even need to pick up the call for them to see and hear you. We reveal what you need to stay safe and keep your information private in this post.
- The bug allegedly affects iPhones and iPads running iOS 12.1. Apple PCs running macOS Mojave are also affected due to the recent addition of Group FaceTime. However, Apple has temporarily suspended use of the app across all affected platforms to prevent any potential privacy concerns.
- It isn’t clear whether the bug self-activates or must be exploited, but how it works is truly terrifying. A user initiates a call, triggering the bug, and instantly becomes able to hear live audio from their intended recipient. The person on the other end does not need to pick up or accept the call in order for the transmission to begin.
- In fact, users who pressed the down volume button to dismiss the call (a standard FaceTime feature) also unknowingly triggered the bug — but with much more serious results. Instead of simply transmitting audio, it initiated live video transmission to the caller, too, completely unbeknownst to the user who denied the call.
- Worse yet, FaceTime appears to give users zero indication when the bug triggers and live audio/video begins. This could effectively lead people to live stream themselves to callers for hours at a time without even realizing they’re transmitting.
- We probably don’t need to tell you what’s so harmful about this bug; anyone with sense knows being monitored without your personal knowledge is bad. But we’ll say it a little bit louder, just for the people in the back. Anything you do or say in the presence of your phone effectively becomes fair game for the caller. Credit card numbers. Birth dates. Private conversations with your spouse. Intimate time in the bedroom.
- Will criminals be able to use this to steal your information or monitor you? Fortunately, the answer is probably “no.” Apple is already working on rolling out a fix later this week that will shore up security and ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. Which is great… except for the fact that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.