Monday night, customers of Apple Inc. products realized a FaceTime software bug was allowing them to hear the other person they were attempting to call before that person ever answered. The person receiving the incoming FaceTime call has no idea that the caller can hear them. If you receive an incoming call request to FaceTime, the caller could be listening in on you without you ever answering the call. The bug works on iPhones and iPads that run iOS 12.1 and Apple PCs that run macOS Mojave, which both just recently added the Group FaceTime feature.
How does the bug work?
When an iPhone user creates a FaceTime conference call, types in their own phone number, and then adds the number of another person – audio of those you’re trying to connect with can be heard, without their knowledge. If the other user clicks one of the volume controls or the power button, the bug will allow videos to be sent, according to 9to5Mac who tested the bug.
Twitter user Benji Mobb™(@BmManski) tweeted a clip showing how the bug works: ” Now you can answer for yourself on FaceTime even if they don’t answer
#Apple explain this.. “
Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, issued a statement in which he stressed the “egregious breach of privacy” users experience with the Apple bug:
An Apple spokesperson issued a statement saying they are “aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.”
As of 5:30 a.m. EST, Apple’s System Status page still shows the server that runs Group FaceTime marked as having an “issue”.
It is suggested that until the bug is fixed and new software updates have been released, users should disable FaceTime on all Apple devices.