A major privacy flaw in Apple's FaceTime video chat product has been discovered that allows people to secretly eavesdrop on other users before they answer calls.
This bug affects any Apple iPhone, iPad, or Mac that can run FaceTime.
The bug is a serious problem in one of Apple's flagship products, and it is especially embarrassing given Apple's recent campaign touting its privacy bona fides compared with those of rivals like Google. The new also arrived less than 24 hours before Apple was due to report close-watched quarterly earnings, in which the company was expected to report a decline in iPhone sales.
News of the privacy bug was making the rounds on Twitter on Monday and was quickly picked up by Apple blogs like 9to5Mac. Some users were urging iPhone owners to switch off FaceTime until Apple could fix the vulnerability.
Business Insider was able to replicate the privacy vulnerability in its own testing on Monday.
The bug in FaceTime allows users to dial one of their contacts and listen in to the recipient's microphone before the person actually answers the call. This can be accomplished by using the "add a person" feature after dialing the contact and then adding your own number as the other person.
Furthermore, The Verge discovered that if those being called pushed the power or volume button on their iPhone to dismiss the FaceTime call, it actually sent the caller a video feed as well.
"We're aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week," an Apple representative told Business Insider in a statement.
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