Apple Releases iOS 12.1.4 to Fix Group FaceTime Eavesdropping Bug

Apple pushes fix for “FacePalm,” possibly its creepiest vulnerability ever

They could also sometimes see your video if you pressed the side button to silence the call.

Originally discovered by the 14-year old Grant Thompson although it took quite a while for Apple to respond which has since attracted some attention from the authorities, the company shut down the Group FaceTime feature through a server-side implementation as a temporary measure once the news of the bug started to spread. The arrival of the new version of iOS comes just two days after a pair of congressmen sent a letter (which you can read here) to CEO Tim Cook that included a list of questions they'd like him to answer in the wake of the bug.

Ever since it was discovered that Thompson tried to responsibly disclose the bug to Apple, many have been calling for Apple to issue him a bug bounty reward.

Apple credited Thompson for discovering the FaceTime bug as part of its software update, almost a week after thanking him for reporting the bug in the first place. They only needed to call you using FaceTime, then add themselves to the call to make it a Group FaceTime call, and they could then hear your audio, even if you didn't answer.

Apple also formally credited Thompson and Daven Morris from Arlington, Texas in the release notes to its latest iPhone software update.


On supported devices, simply open Settings - General - Software Update and follow the onscreen instructions.

After you've installed the update, you can feel safe re-enabling FaceTime on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. These will download in the background and install overnight when the device is connected to mains power.

The update is about 335MB is size and you'll have to connect to a WiFi connection to download.

For macOS users, the 10.14.3 update may automatically be installed.

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