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Apple Issues FaceTime Bug Apology, Fix Coming Next Week

Apple has issued a rare apology for a bug in FaceTime that allowed users to hear audio and, under some circumstances, see video of others before they answered calls. A fix is scheduled to be issued next week.

Reports of the exploit started circulating on Tuesday, though the family that initially contacted Apple reportedly reached out even earlier. Apple disabled the Group FaceTime feature, which was required for the bug to work, shortly after reports spread wide.

The company also said that it will improve "the process by which we receive and escalate these reports in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible."

The statement was sent to select media outlets. Here's the full message, per CNBC:

We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple's servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone's patience as we complete this process.We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix. We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us.

Apple promotes itself as a leader in privacy and security, so this wasn't a good look, but hopefully the new reporting process (and perhaps more testing) will help the company avoid this in the future. 

  • raybob95
    The fact that fixing microphone and camera activation is a *server side* fix is a little bit disturbing. No protection for the app itself?
    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    21731821 said:
    The fact that fixing microphone and camera activation is a *server side* fix is a little bit disturbing. No protection for the app itself?

    It does sound a bit scary but if you think about it all the voice and video data has to be sent to Apples servers then forwarded to everyone in the group facetime. However I do agree there does need to be an iOS fix that does not allow any voice or video to be transmitted unknowingly.
    Reply
  • hoofhearted
    The conspiracy theorist in me say that Apple did this on purpose so it could listen in on it's competitors meetings and patent their ideas before they could.
    Reply