Apple today rolled out a fix for a FaceTime bug that allowed callers to hear what people on the other line were saying before they answered the call.
Apple iOS 12.1.4 hit users’ devices this afternoon. To update your device, navigate to Settings > General > Software Update, and you should see the option to download and install the latest version of iOS.
In a security note on Apple’s website, the company acknowledges that a glitch meant “the initiator of a Group FaceTime call may be able to cause the recipient to answer.” Cupertino blames the problem on “a logic issue…in the handling of Group FaceTime calls.”
Group FaceTime calls have been disabled since Jan. 28, when this issue first game to light. It was actually discovered by an Arizona teenager who was trying to start a Group FaceTime ahead of a Fortnite gaming session. As he added members to the group chat, Grant Thompson realized he could hear the audio from his friends’ devices, even though they hadn’t agreed to join the FaceTime session.
The teenager then told his mother, an attorney, about the spying danger posed by the flaw. She tried to alert Apple to the problem, but they did not respond, even after she tweeted Tim Cook. Apple now tells The Verge that it will compensate Grant Thompson as part of its bug bounty program.
If you disabled FaceTime after this bug was discovered, re-enable it by navigating to Settings > FaceTime and toggle it on. And here’s how to use Group FaceTime.