A nasty bug on iPhone’s FaceTime group calling feature was discovered lately. The bug allows users to eavesdrop on other users using a simple to follow trick to exploit the bug. However, a recent update from Apple states that the company has disabled the group calling feature until a fix is propelled later this week.
According to MacRumors which also demonstrated the bug, it can be exploited on iPhones with iOS 12.2 and macOS users as well as it poses a great privacy threat to the users from a company which has long been known to protect user’s privacy at all cost.
The bug affected the group calling feature of FaceTime and works in a simple manner. The users can exploit by simply calling someone on the app and then, add their own number as the second recipient to trigger group calling. On the recipient’s end, he/she might have not accepted the call yet but once the user dials his/her number, he/she is able to get a live mic feed from the recipient while the latter is still waiting to pick up the call.
What’s more frightening is that when the recipient pressed the power button to dismiss the call or volume button to silence the call, the caller automatically gets a video feed of the recipient probably without any audio feed even though the recipient hasn’t picked up the call yet.
Although we don’t recommend exploiting this bug since it will be categorized as eavesdropping, the Cupertino-based tech giant has already dropped the group calling feature from FaceTime temporarily until a permanent fix isn’t posted later this week.
If you are an iOS 12.2 user, you can completely disable FaceTime temporarily or resort to using it minimally until the problem is fixed. It is ironic how a feature that was first teased in August in iOS 12 beta has been taken off the shelf several time in just a few months of its launch.
As of now, no one will be able to make group calls and exploit the bug as well since the feature has been temporarily disabled until further notice.