Snooping using FaceTime
It is not a hack. More an unintended snafu in the facetime application on Apple devices. But, if you own an Apple device, turn Off FaceTime immediately, and then get the Apple update that is coming out this week. Or next.
A Critical risk privacy bug was discovered this in Apple’s FaceTime application. The bug allows anyone using Facetime to hear or see you before you even answer.
Hedgehog Labs tested the reported bug using an iPhone X running the latest iOS 12.1.2. We confirm that it works, as flagged by 9to5Mac on Monday. We able replicated the issue on a current MacBook. Much to the horror of Mrs Hedgehog.
Update – 30/01/2019
Apple took this issue very seriously and have disabled FaceTime group calling until a fix has been implemented. A patch for IOS devices is expected shortly.
How does it work?
Here is how you do it:
Step 1: Start a FaceTime call with any on your known iPhone user contacts.
Step 2: While the call is still dialling, swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen and tap ‘Add Person.’
Step 3: Add your phone number in the ‘Add Person’ screen.
A group FaceTime call will now start including yourself and the person you first called. You should now be able to listen in even if the other party has not yet accepted the call.
It gets a little worse. Imagine the person you are calling is in an important meeting. They are going to hit the mute button or the power button to drop the call. If they do that, their camera turns on and the video is streamed to your phone.
How to disable FaceTime:
On iPhone or iPad, just head on to Settings, scroll down to find ‘FaceTime’ icon and tap the toggle button to switch the feature off.
On Mac, open FaceTime app on your Mac, click on FaceTime at the top left corner in the menu bar and then click ‘Turn off FaceTime.’
Peter has been in the Information Security world since 1999 and in IT in general since 1996. His work history contains a unique blended balance between the development of exceptional technical capabilities and business knowledge. Peter is a proud father of twins and enjoys GT endurance racing on the weekends.
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