A serious bug in Apple’s Facetime video calling software could allow people to listen to you via your phone’s microphone – without you picking up a call.
A viral Tweet showed off how to spy on users using Facetime, with people able to listen via the microphone and watch via the camera before anyone has picked up.
The bug, reported by 9to5Mac, is simple to perform on the latest version of iOS: you just start a FaceTime video call, then swipe up from the bottom and tap Add Person.
Add your own number, and the group call will begin, with audio of the person you called in the first place – even if they haven’t picked up.
— Benji Mobb™ (@BmManski) January 28, 2019
Later, 9to5Mac also confirmed that it’s possible to see through the phone’s front-facing camera as well.
Apple has now disabled the group FaceTime feature in response to the find.
British computer security expert Graham Cluley wrote, ‘ I would be deeply disturbed if someone was able to spy on me, even for a short while, without me noticing.
‘It’s easy how it might also be used by jealous partners and obsessive stalkers to spy on the vulnerable.’
Apple said in a statement, ‘We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.’