Fixes Group FaceTime privacy bug

Fixes Group FaceTime privacy bug

Fixes Group FaceTime privacy bug

Credit: Tom's GuideIf you've been hiding under a rock for the last two weeks, a flaw in Group FaceTime allowed anyone on the call to hear the audio from any recipient, regardless of whether the person on the other end had picked up.

The major security issue in Group FaceTime that was unveiled late last month is now finally fixed with the iOS 12.1.4 update that started rolling out to all supported Apple devices today.

Apple credited 14-year-old Grant Thompson of Tucson, Arizona, for discovering the bug, almost a week after thanking him for reporting the flaw in the first place. He and his mom tried to contact Apple for several days before the company responded.

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The bug enabled interlopers to turn an iPhone into a live microphone while using Group FaceTime.

As often occurs when people flag software flaws, Grant will be rewarded for his sleuthing.

In a statement obtained by Business Insider, Apple confirmed the update and said it also conducted a "thorough security audit of the FaceTime service and made additional updates to both the FaceTime app and server to improve security". Apple plans to contribute to Thompson's college fund in addition to paying a bounty to him and his family for reporting the bug. Details of this new bug and how it could be exploited were not disclosed by Apple.

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Over a week ago, it was discovered that 3rd party callers could potentially eavesdrop via FaceTime if they initiate a Group FaceTime without having you to accept the call. While they were fixing the bug, they disabled Group FaceTime, so that the bug could not be abused.

The bug exposed Apple customers to potential surveillance at a time when CEO Tim Cook has been repeatedly declaring personal privacy is a "fundamental human right".

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