Apple today disabled its group FaceTime call feature it introduced in iOS 12 across all its devices. The reason behind the shutdown is due to a major security bug found within the feature that allows users to listen to the audio being recorded by the device belonging to the person they’re calling, even if they don’t pick up. The company says a fix for this issue will arrive later this week.
In case you’re unfamiliar, here’s how the security flaw works. Start by placing a FaceTime video or audio call with someone in your contacts. While your device rings, tap “Add Person” in the menu at the bottom of the interface. Then, simply add your own phone number to the call. This will establish a makeshift conference call that FaceTime thinks is happening, even though the person you called in the first place hasn’t picked up yet.
It gets worse from there. If the person you’re calling hits either volume buttons or the power button on their device, you’ll also begin seeing video being recorded using their device’s cameras. So basically, you can have a full-on FaceTime call with someone without them ever knowing.
Naturally, with such a large bug, Apple will be quick to resolve it. We’re not exactly sure when the company plans to roll out the fix other than later this week, but we’ll let you know when they do.