Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Apple releases update to prevent FaceTime eavesdropping

Apple releases update to prevent FaceTime eavesdropping

Apple acted quickly because the bug was particularly easy to exploit: a caller just needed to start a FaceTime video call, and while it was ringing, add themselves (via their phone number or Apple ID) to make it a conference call.

Today, Apple has released iOS 12.1.4 and a macOS Mojave 10.14.3 Supplemental Update that fixes this FaceTime bug.

"A logic issue existed in the handling of Group FaceTime calls".

After you've installed the update, you can feel safe re-enabling FaceTime on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Here's what's fixed and how to apply the updates.

Originally discovered by the 14-year old Grant Thompson although it took quite a while for Apple to respond which has since attracted some attention from the authorities, the company shut down the Group FaceTime feature through a server-side implementation as a temporary measure once the news of the bug started to spread. Apple has also credited him with the discovery, and told the news website that they were compensating the Thompson family and "providing an additional gift to fund Grant Thompson's tuition". Apple has not stated if they are planning on doing so. Available for download now, iOS 12.1.4's release notes claim the flaw is over, thanks to "improved state management". Plug your device into a power source and click on the Download and Install button. You will need Wi-Fi access and your battery to be charged above 50 percent, or the device will need to be connected to a charger.

When done, enter your code at the lock screen and the update will be installed.

Click on the Apple icon in the top left of your screen.

iPhone owners should update their Apple iOS software right now.

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