After delay, Apple releases a fix for FaceTime bug

Posted February 09, 2019

Apple had swiftly disabled Group FaceTime after news of the bug started trending on social media.

The tech giant was forced to temporarily disable the group chat function while it scrambled to find a fix to an eavesdropping bug originally discovered by 14-year-old Grant Thompson of Tucson, Arizona.

Without disclosing the exact amount, Apple said it plans on compensating Thompson for discovering the vulnerability and will also provide an additional gift to fund his education.

It remains unclear how long Apple was aware of the Group FaceTime security flaw.

In the days following, it was discovered that the mother of United States teen Grant Thompson alerted the company a week before it took action; Apple is reportedly rewarding the family per its bug hunting policy.

So if your phone seems sluggish after iOS 12.1.3 upgrade and if you wish to downgrade back to a lower version, it seems you simply can not as Apple has blocked it.

The FaceTime fix is included in the latest version of Apple's iOS 12 system, which became available to install on Thursday.

"While these are wonderful tools when used right, the serious privacy issue with Group FaceTime demonstrates how these devices can also become the ultimate spying machines", Pallone and Schakowsky said.

Users can download the new software update, labeled iOS 12.1.4, by going to their device's Settings, then General and then Software Update.

The company noted that a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service also brought to light a previously unidentified vulnerability in its Live Photos service.

You can read the full security update details here.

From this menu tap Software Update and check if any updates are ready for your device. Someone could initiate a FaceTime call, activate their intended target's microphone and then listen in without that person's knowledge.