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Apple Temporarily Disables Group FaceTime to Address Major Privacy Bug

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Jan 28, 2019, 11:47 PM   by Rich Brome   @rbrome
updated Feb 1, 2019, 10:23 AM

Updated: Updated to reflect that Apple delayed the fix from the week of Jan. 28 to the week of Feb. 4.

A massive bug in Apple's new Group FaceTime feature allowed callers to listen in on people before they answered an incoming FaceTime call, and in some cases even see live video. Apple has already moved to prevent the issue from affecting users by turning off the Group FaceTime feature altogether, for all users, apparently with a change to its cloud systems. Before Apple acted, anyone running iOS 12.1 could exploit the bug by initiating a FaceTime video call to their target, then making it a Group FaceTime by adding their own phone number to the call. The caller would then receive audio from the other end, and if the callee pressed the power button to dismiss the incoming call, it would instead trigger live video to be sent to the caller. The issue also affected FaceTime on MacOS. Apple has acknowledged the bug and promised a software update to fix it this next week.

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