Apple to issue fixed Group FaceTime update this week

Apple, News

Apple has apologised for a bug that allowed eavesdropping on iPhone devices through the FaceTime app and pledged to offer an update that will fix the issue this week.

The software glitch came to light earlier this week, allowing a caller to exploit a flaw in the Group FaceTime feature to hear audio from a target device before they either pick up or reject the call.

The issue was discovered by a 14-year-old boy from Arizona, whose mother Michele Thompson then reported it to Apple.

“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,” Apple said in a statement.

New iPhone
(Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologise 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.

“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.

“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.”

Speaking to ABC News earlier this week, Ms Thompson said: “I knew [Apple] had a bounty reward programme, they had a security manual that was 80 pages that I looked at.

“I didn’t know if this qualified, and by no means am I a tech expert.

“I do wish they had a better process to let a citizen report a bug, because it was a pretty complicated process.”

Chris Price
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