Serious FaceTime bug in iOS 12.1

This is pretty bad. Seems like anyone can hear another person’s audio even if that person has not picked up the call. This has some pretty serious ramifications if people abuse it - Apple need to patch this fast.


Update : There’s a second part to this which can expose video too …

Wonder if the patch will be in 12.2 which is around now, or if they’ll release an emergency patch to current version?

Great to see Apple has very quickly responded to this and taken Group FaceTime offline to work on a fix. I’m on 12.2 b1 but rarely use FaceTime and it’s a bit early in the morning to test it out! Intact I don’t even think my phone supports Group FaceTime


I read somewhere that there will be an emergency patch pushed out separate to iOS 12.2 later this week (if all goes well).
It will then be brought back online.

I agree Glasgow, we have to give Apple credit for how they respond to these situations.


Yes pleased with the rapid action however this bug should never have occurred with the amount of private betas, public betas and QA that Apple does so it’s quite concerning to see this happen and suggests, along with the other issues at Apple this now that there are deeper internal issues which they need to resolve

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I’m curious how they deploy the fix, whether it will be up to the user to install an ios update or a forced update without user choice (which I believe they can do).

Since most ios apps aren’t tied to the system anymore it could also be pushed via the app store.

Something I’ve never understood is how these things get as far as rollout. Can anyone give me the low down? Thesr builds are presumably tested by Alpha and Beta groups before wider rollout so what changes in the final code?

Well, considering the bug has only just been found and Group FaceTime has been out for months says it all really.

I appreciate they should test from every angle but this only occurs when you FaceTime someone then add yourself to the group, not sure if that’s a test case they would’ve thought of!


Agree it’s probably an edge case but id have expected there to have been a user story created during the build that accounted for this sort of thing (as a user, if I try to add myself to a FaceTime call, I am unable to do so and presented an error) and then during the testing of this US then this error would have been noted


They may well have done but you wouldn’t notice the bug if the other user had already answered the call.

It’s a slip up for sure! I’m just pleased with their response time etc.

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Total guess, but I’d imagine that when they switch Group FaceTime back on at the server end they will do a minimum iOS version check so that only those that have installed the update can access it. That solves the problem of the bug occurring, at least.

They are still system apps and can’t be updated via the store. When you ‘delete’ a system app like Stocks all it really does is hide the homescreen icon. When going to the App Store to ‘reinstall’ a system app - it’s just telling iOS to unhide it.

Edit: I can’t check while I’m at work, but I think this was all explained in this interview.


I would imagine apple have a level of Alpha and Beta test users internally plus a QA team who check for bugs.

External to apple there is the developer beta which all developers have access to once it’s gone through internal testing. Not long after the developer beta launches there is a public beta that anyone can install.

Each version goes through a number of hands before it gets marked as gold master.

Yes, the bug isn’t good nor good for Apple who prides it’s self on Privacy - when this is a serious privacy breach.

However, you have to give credit to Apple was acting so fast. They have temporarily pulled Group FaceTime while they fix the issue.

They say that an update will come out sometime this week.

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except when you’re using Facetime…

The thing that is a bit irritating, even as an Apple fanboy, if this was Google or a especially a Huawei phone, everyone would be going absolutely bonkers. “The Chinese are hacking us” and I’m sure Russia would be brought in the conversation somewhere.

I don’t think ‘we’ (royal ‘we’) should be giving Apple so much slack ‘just because it’s Apple’. This is a massive breach of people’s privacy and I hope that they’re going to be slapped with a whole heap of GDPR fines to be honest. Apple needs to get it’s own house in order before it slaps giant posters down buildings taking the p*** out of everyone else.