Apple's FaceTime has a major bug that lets others listen in on you before you answer the call

  • A newly discovered bug in Apple’s FaceTime allows a person to secretly hear what others are saying before they answer the call.
  • The bug affects any iPhone, iPad, or Mac that supports FaceTime.
  • Business Insider was able to replicate the vulnerability on an iPhone.
  • Apple said it would release a software fix for the bug “later this week.” Until then, the only sure fix is to disable FaceTime in your system settings.

A major privacy flaw in Apple’sFaceTime video chat product has been discovered that allows people to secretly eavesdrop on other users before they answer calls.

This bug affects any Apple iPhone, iPad, or Mac that can run FaceTime.

The bug is a serious problem in one of Apple’s flagship products, and it is especially embarrassing given Apple’s recent campaign touting its privacy bona fides compared with those of rivals like Google. The new also arrived less than 24 hours before Apple was due to report close-watched quarterly earnings, in which the company was expected to report a decline in iPhone sales.

News of the privacy bug was making the rounds on Twitter on Monday and was quickly picked up by Apple blogs like 9to5Mac. Some users were urging iPhone owners to switch off FaceTime until Apple could fix the vulnerability.

Business Insider was able to replicate the privacy vulnerability in its own testing on Monday.

The bug in FaceTime allows users to dial one of their contacts and listen in to the recipient’s microphone before the person actually answers the call. This can be accomplished by using the “add a person” feature after dialling the contact and then adding your own number as the other person.

Furthermore, The Verge discovered that if those being called pushed the power or volume button on their iPhone to dismiss the FaceTime call, it actually sent the caller a video feed as well.

“We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week,” an Apple representative told Business Insider in a statement.

Until an update is released, those concerned about the issue should disable FaceTime on their Apple devices. You can see instructions for doing so on an iPhone and iPad here, or on a Mac here.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.