Apple Inc. has suspended use of the popular FaceTime app after a bug was discovered which allows users to eavesdrop on call recipients before they answer the call. The bug appears to affect any Apple user running the device with an iOS 12.1 or later, according to 9to5mac.com. Ironically, the bug was discovered on Monday, which–according to a Tweet from Apple CEO Tim Cook–is international Data Privacy Day.
We must keep fighting for the kind of world we want to live in. On this #DataPrivacyDay let us all insist on action and reform for vital privacy protections. The dangers are real and the consequences are too important.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 28, 2019
To exploit the bug, a user must first initiate a FaceTime call on their iPhone. Once the call begins to ring, the user needs to swipe up on their screen and tap the “Add Person” button. Then, the user simply adds his or her own number to the call and they will begin to receive audio from the recipient’s phone. The recipient’s phone will be ringing as well, giving them some warning that the caller is attempting to either legitimately contact them or is eavesdropping.