Apple Patches FaceTime Vulnerability in IOS, macOS Updates

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Apple iOS Update Fixes Group FaceTime Privacy Bug. Reward Goes to Teen Who Discovered the Glitch

Apple stomped the group FaceTime bug that allowed people to eavesdrop on other iPhone users. The fix was included in a rollout of the iOS update 12.1.4 on Thursday. While that’s great news for …
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Apple fixes FaceTime eavesdrop bug, with software update incoming

Three days after Apple pulled its new Group FaceTime feature offline after users found they could eavesdrop on people before accepting a call, the company says it’s fixed the bug on its end.

“We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week,” said Apple in a statement. “We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process.”

The bug allowed anyone to swipe up and add themselves to a Group FaceTime call, a new group video feature that Apple introduced last year. TechCrunch verified the bug after it began making the rounds on social media.

To prevent misuse, Apple pulled the plug on Group FaceTime on its servers.

Apple continued: “We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix.”

But the privacy issue came after reports that a 14-year-old from Arizona and his mother tried to report the bug to Apple days before to no avail, citing difficulties in contacting the company.

In Friday’s statement, Apple thanked the Thompson family for reporting the bug,

“We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us,” the statement added.

New York’s attorney general Letitia James and governor Andrew Cuomo said they would investigate the incident.

Apple – TechCrunch

Apple’s Facetime Problems Illustrate Some Of The Fatal Flaws Of Blockchain

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Apple’s FaceTime bug will be investigated by New York’s Attorney General

Earlier this week, a bug was found in FaceTime that could let others listen in to your Apple device’s microphone (or, in specific cases, view video from the camera) without you accepting the FaceTime call.

Apple disabled the Group FaceTime feature that enabled this bug server-side, thus preventing its future misuse while they worked on a proper patch. Apple says that patch should land later this week, but it sounds like that won’t be the end of it for the company.

New York Attorney General Letitia James and Governor Andrew Cuomo have just announced their intent to investigate the matter — how it happened, and what they call Apple’s “slow response.”

While Apple responded with its temporary fix once the bug started going viral, reports suggest that at least two users — a 14-year-old from Arizona and his mother — had been trying to no avail to warn Apple of this matter for more than a week prior.

While bugs happen, this is a particularly egregious and mystifying one. It’s like the perfect storm of bugs — there’s the bug that turns on the microphone early, then a second stage of the bug that for some logic-defying reason turns on the camera if the call recipient hits the power button to try to decline the call. Then it slipped through QA. Then, finally, it gets noticed by someone with good intentions who tries many ways to bring it to Apple’s attention, unsuccessfully. It slowly spreads from person to person, then goes viral on Twitter. This is the kind of bug that people will be reading about in their software engineering textbooks for years.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the investigation, but none was given at the time of publishing.

Apple – TechCrunch