There’s a bug on Apple’s FaceTime that lets you listen in on people you call, even if they haven’t picked up their iPhone

By Todd Haselton

There’s a FaceTime bug that lets you hear through someone else’s iPhone, even if they haven’t answered your phone call. It was previously reported on Twitter by user Benji Mobb and reported by 9to5Mac.

CNBC tested it and verified that it’s a real bug. I tried placing a video call to my editor from my iPhone using Apple’s FaceTime app. Then, before he picked up, I used the menu option to add somebody else to the call and, as 9to5Mac’s directions state, I added myself to the call. Suddenly, I could hear my editor, even though he never picked up. We continued having a conversation while his phone only gave him the option to answer. There was no indication that the call had already gone through.

The Verge reports that, if the person you’re calling tries to end it by tapping the power button on their phone, it sends video but no audio. That means the person calling you can see a video of you or your surroundings as if you’d answered the call. I replicated this with a friend.

This bug seems to rely on the FaceTime Group Call feature, since you’re trying to add another person to the call. Group FaceTime launched last year.

There’s obviously a big privacy concern here. You could theoretically call anyone with FaceTime and, using the steps above, listen in on their conversations.

Apple, which is scheduled to report earnings on Tuesday afternoon, said a fix is coming this week. “We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week,” a spokesperson told CNBC. It also deactivated Group FaceTime to prevent people from exploiting the bug before it releases a fix.

In the meantime, and to be extra safe, the fastest fix right now is to just turn off FaceTime. Here’s how:

  • Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Choose FaceTime
  • Toggle FaceTime to off.

This article was first published by CNBC https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/28/apple-facetime-bug-lets-you-listen-even-if-someone-doesnt-answer.html?&qsearchterm=facetime and is republished with its permission.

Related Content

South Africa’s rand recovers but caution remains, stocks slip

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand recovered in afternoon trade on Friday, after sliding earlier due to concerns about rising COVID-19 cases...

African born Billionaire Elon Musk’s net worth zooms past Warren Buffett’s

The blistering rally also puts Musk in reach of a payday potentially worth $1.8 billion, his second jackpot from the electric car maker in about two months.

U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000

“If we don’t adopt this best practice it could lead to a shutdown of business,” the Republican governor told local KLBK-TV in Lubbock, adding it was the last thing he wanted.

South Africa set to make SAA funding commitment, official says

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The South African government is “on course” to provide a funding commitment for the restructuring of loss-making South African...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

African born Billionaire Elon Musk’s net worth zooms past Warren Buffett’s

The blistering rally also puts Musk in reach of a payday potentially worth $1.8 billion, his second jackpot from the electric car maker in about two months.

U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000

“If we don’t adopt this best practice it could lead to a shutdown of business,” the Republican governor told local KLBK-TV in Lubbock, adding it was the last thing he wanted.

South Africa set to make SAA funding commitment, official says

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The South African government is “on course” to provide a funding commitment for the restructuring of loss-making South African...

Akinwumi Adesina pays tribute to Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly

A humble man. A selfless man. A faithful man. A shining light. We met and spoke together on several forums around the world: on the plane, at airports, in high level forums and summits. My impression of him was the same: calm; wise; insightful. A man of few words, whose every word was always well honed for impact. He spoke always from his heart. An he had a heart of gold.

Partner Content

Uber launches its largest region-wide initiative in partnership with Mastercard

Uber, in partnership with Mastercard to provide 120,000 free trips to frontline workers in MEA, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast...

Maktech’s Godwin Makyao: Now Is A Time of Entrepreneurial Opportunity in East Africa

As an executive decision-maker in both the telecommunications and tourism industries, Godwin Makyao could not have experienced a more diverse set of...

Trending Now

Congo justice minister resigns after judicial reform dispute

KINSHASA (Reuters) - The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Justice Minister Celestin Tunda tendered his resignation on Saturday in the wake of a...

Veteran Zimbabwe farmer pours cold water on $58 million mission from Belarus with love.

“Belarus tractors have never been known for their quality or power. They were never bought by Zimbabwe farmers in the past. Training up 1000 Zimbabwe farmers isn’t the answer.

Congo central bank keeps 2020 economic growth forecast at -2.4%

(Reuters) - The Democratic Republic of Congo’s central bank kept its 2020 economic growth forecast unchanged at -2.4% because of the uncertainty...

South Africa’s rand recovers but caution remains, stocks slip

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand recovered in afternoon trade on Friday, after sliding earlier due to concerns about rising COVID-19 cases...
- Advertisement -