Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple pushes out iOS 12.1.4 to fix Group FaceTime eavesdropping bug

Apple pushes out iOS 12.1.4 to fix Group FaceTime eavesdropping bug

Apple has released an iPhone update to fix a FaceTime flaw that allowed people to eavesdrop on others while using its group video chat feature. If you haven't received any notification, you can download iOS 12.1.4 by going to Settings General Software Update.

The update that fixes the FaceTime flaw is called iOS 12.1.4 with Apple stating that it "provides important security updates and is recommended for all users".

Essentially, if a user made a Group FaceTime call and swiped up on the interface then added their own number before another participant could join, the software would think a chat had started and begun feeding audio from the requested user's microphone to the call. It mitigates what the company describes as a "logic issue [that] existed in the handling of Group FaceTime calls". Apple has also noted that these patches also include a fix for a vulnerability that affects the Live Photos feature of FaceTime app which the company has discovered while working to tackle the Group FaceTime issue.

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After you've installed the update, you can feel safe re-enabling FaceTime on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

The same flaw that was discovered in iOS 12 by Thompson was also present in macOS Mojave with an update to macOS 10.14.3 also issued. Here's what's fixed and how to apply the updates. These will download in the background and install overnight when the device is connected to mains power. You can read the full security update details here.

While they were at it, Apple also slipped in two other security updates in the iOS and macOS releases for vulnerabilities they found Foundation and IOKit that could lead to code execution or privilege escalation.

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