Apple Releases Fix For The Eavesdropping Group FaceTime Bug


In late January, a major FaceTime bug that poses threat to a user's privacy was reported after it was accidentally discovered by a 14-year-old boy. Now after more than a week, Apple finally rolls out a fix.

Prior to the update, the Cupertino brand disabled Group FaceTime as a quick fix to prevent the bug from affecting other users.

iOS 12.1.4 Update

Last Friday, Apple said that a fix will be available in the following week, and as promised, it is now rolling out iOS 12.1.4 update, which contains the fix for the eavesdropping FaceTime bug.

To reactivate the Group FaceTime, users should update to the latest iOS version, as the feature won't be available to those who are still on iOS 12.1.3 or earlier. To download iOS 12.1.4, head on to the device's Settings > General > Software Update. It will then automatically install the update after the download.

Though a fix is now available for users, Apple is facing another predicament. Earlier this week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce started a probe on the FaceTime bug and asked Apple to respond to its inquiries about the security flaw.

"As a first step, we believe it is important for Apple to be transparent about its investigation into the Group FaceTime vulnerability and the steps it is taking to protect consumers' privacy," Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky said in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The committee gave Apple until Feb. 19 to respond.

The FaceTime Bug

The snooping Group FaceTime bug was accidentally discovered by Grant Thompson, a teenager from Arizona. His mother tried to alert Apple immediately after she learned of her son's discovery, but it took more than a week before the company finally recognized the major security flaw.

The bug allows FaceTime callers to listen to people at the other end of the line even before they pick up the call. It's not known exactly when this bug emerged, considering that the Group FaceTime feature was launched just months ago along with the iOS 12.1 update.

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