Apple Facetime Hack

Apple Exposes You to Eavesdroppers

Do you have an Apple device? If so, it’s currently acting like a microphone allowing anyone to listen to you without your knowledge.  The FaceTime flaw dubbed FacePalm applies to Macs, iPhones and iPads and Apple has been slow to fix the simple hack that allows anyone to turn your phone into a live, open, microphone.

Right now, with a few commands, any user can initiate a FaceTime call using Apple’s popular video chatting application and eavesdrop on their phone before they pick up. The caller can effectively turn the recipient’s phone into a one-way stealth speaker phone. He can then capture whatever audio is heard near the phone and the recipient of the FaceTime call is none the wiser.

Facetime Bug Allowed Users to Eavesdrop on Anyone’s Apple Device

According to The New York Times, two weeks ago, a 14-year-old named Grant Thompson accidentally discovered while using FaceTime on January 19 and his mother sent a video of the experience to Apple warning the company of the massive security threat. Incredibly, Apple did not respond to multiple attempts by Michele Thompson to contact the company who eventually resorted to posting about the problem on social media. Frustratingly, Apple suggested that Ms. Thompson, an attorney, create a developer account meant for software engineers to send in a formal bug report.

Apple Slow to Respond to Massive Personal Security Threat

If it seems to you like Apple did its best to ignore this incredible threat to its users’ personal privacy, due to a massive flaw in its FaceTime software, you are not alone. The amount and type of information that could be gathered by eavesdropping on someone’s daily life is staggering. It could threaten criminal investigations, national security or be used for corporate espionage. Of course, identity theft would be made much easier also.

Only when other developers started picking up the story on 9to5mac.com and other websites did Apple spring into action, more than a week after they were notified of the problem. They have disabled Group FaceTime and say they are working on a fix. There may be other ways to achieve the same eavesdropping effect however so this fix may not be sufficient. MyProfyle recommends that you disable FaceTime in iOS and apply the latest update from Apple immediate. Also check back for updates several times over the next week.

So, How Can You Protect Yourself?

Go to your iPhone settings, scroll down or search for FaceTime and switch the toggle to gray. On MacOS, open the FaceTime app, click “FaceTime” in the menu, and then click “Turn off FaceTime.”

At MyProfyle, we believe this threat is further proof that everyone’s information is at risk from many different sources and that we are all exposed multiple times per year. The solution to identity fraud is not to try to lock your identity or seek unobtainable privacy but to control your identity – not just your credit – by putting yourself in the position know of, approve or decline activity conducted in your name. That’s MyProfyle Free For Life ™ Identity Protection.

References

The New York Times

 9to5Mac.com

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