Apple officially acknowledged a bug in their iPhone Facetime feature the other day, confirming that callers could use Facetime to listen in on someone’s phone while the call is ringing. The Cupertino tech company promised to send out an update soon to fix this security hole, but it turns out the flaw was found over ten days ago from a 14-year-old trying to play Fortnite with friends.
From a report by the Wall Street Journal, Grant Thompson was trying to play Fortnite with friends and conference them in using Facetime when he discovered the bug. Thompson told his mom and the two of them tried to contact Apple through multiple types of social media, email, and even faxing them. Apple denied the report of the bug without having a developer account, forcing the pair to take it to Apple’s security team. Despite there being a “bug bounty” for finding and reporting security issues to the company, the roundabout way the Thompsons had to do it let Apple avoid paying out the bounty to them. Now that the story is public knowledge, it isn’t known whether the company has paid young Grant Thompson for finding it.
There’s no permanent fix for the Facetime security hole yet, so if you have any kind of iDevice with Facetime support, it’s smart to just disable Facetime. There are even reports of people using the security hole to access the camera before someone responds to a Facetime call, so if you don’t want that happening, just don’t use the feature for now.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]