- Apple has temporarily shut down the Walkie Talkie app on Apple Watches after finding a bug that would allow someone to eavesdrop on another person via their iPhone.
- Apple gave few details about the nature of the vulnerability but said it found no evidence the flaw was exploited by anyone before its discovery.
- Earlier this year, an embarrassing bug was found in Apple’s FaceTime video-chat app that allowed people to listen in on others before they’d even picked up a call.
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Apple has had to shut down its Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app while it patches up a bug that could enable someone to eavesdrop on users via their iPhones.
The Walkie Talkie app allows two people with Apple watches to add each other, then enter a voice chat via a touch-and-hold system.
Apple gave few details about the nature of the app’s bug but said it could “allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent.”
Apple told TechCrunch on Thursday that it had taken down the app after being alerted to the security flaw via its “report a vulnerability” portal.
The company said it found no evidence that the vulnerability had been exploited and apologised for the inconvenience to customers. When contacted by Business Insider for further details, Apple referred us to the statement given to TechCrunch.
Here is Apple’s statement in full:
We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible.
Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously.
We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologise again for this issue and the inconvenience.
It comes three days after a researcher revealed a vulnerability on the video-conferencing service Zoom’s Mac app, which left users vulnerable to having their webcams remotely activated.
Zoom said it began rolling out a patch the next day, but Apple also quietly pushed out an update, removing hidden web servers placed on users’ devices by Zoom, which were at the root of the flaw.
Earlier this year, a flaw in Apple’s FaceTime video-chat app was found. The vulnerability made it possible for people to listen in on others before they even picked up a call.