Apple has been slammed for a Facetime bug that allows people to spy on call recipients even without their knowledge.
The security flaw was discovered by 9to5Mac yesterday. According to reports, it gives Facetime callers access to both the front-facing camera and the microphone of the recipient while the call is still ringing.
The said bug affects Facetime calls between iPad, iPhone, or Mac devices that are running iOS 12.1 or later.
A spokesperson for Apple stated: “We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.”
Reportedly, the ability to eavesdrop through Apple’s Facetime affects the new group chat feature of the app, which was recently introduced in iOS 12.1.
Group Facetime has since been disabled by Apple as some kind of stopgap measure and the service is classified as temporarily unavailable on the system status page of the tech giant.
Residents of the state of New York were alerted to the bug by governor Andrew Cuomo. He said that the vulnerability is “an egregious breach of privacy that puts New Yorkers at risk.”
He continued: “In New York, we take consumer rights very seriously and I am deeply concerned by this irresponsible bug that can be exploited for unsrupulous purposes.”
He added: “In light of this bug, I advise New Yorkers to disable their FaceTime app until a fix is made available, and I urge Apple to release the fix without delay.”
Users of affected Apple devices can disable FaceTime temporarily until a fix is released by going into their settings app and switching the toggle next to the icon of the application to grey.