Apple releases iOS 12.1.4, fixes iPhone FaceTime spying bug

Apple releases iOS 12.1.4, fixes iPhone FaceTime spying bug

Apple releases iOS 12.1.4, fixes iPhone FaceTime spying bug

Following the rollout of iOS 12.1.4, Apple will switch group FaceTime calls back on, but only for those who have applied the update.

The bug allowed some people to turn an iPhone into a live microphone while using Group FaceTime.

While you're there, you can choose to automatically install updates.

Apart from Group FaceTime, the new iOS update also addresses other bugs which affect Live Photo in FaceTime and IOKit. Following public backlash, though, it disabled group FaceTime calls on the server side on January 28. However, Apple's policy of offering a bounty for discovery of bugs is now only for iOS and not macOS.

The changelog for iOS 12.1.4, which does patch the issue, does not suggest when Apple will reenable the feature.

It's not clear how much Apple will be paying the family, but it was previously confirmed that the discovery was eligible for Apple's bug bounty program, which offers rewards of up to $200,000 for security researchers who find vulnerabilities on Apple's software platforms. However, the ability to add new participants to a FaceTime call by swiping up the screen wasn't available at the time of filing this story.

It remains unclear how long Apple was aware of the Group FaceTime security flaw.

The company also says they uncovered another flaw during a "thorough security audit of the FaceTime service". The CVE-2019-7286 vulnerability is apparently a "memory corruption issue" that potentially allowed "an application to gain elevated privileges", with a different "memory corruption issue" referenced as CVE-2019-7287 as it opened the door for "an application to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges". There's also an update for the Shortcuts app on iOS from Apple. If that option is grayed out, make sure you're connected to a Wi-Fi network and/or start charging your device.

From this menu tap Software Update and check if any updates are ready for your device.

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