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Apple finally releases update to prevent FaceTime eavesdropping

08 February 2019

Apple faced a great deal of public criticism for missing a scary privacy-invading FaceTime bug that a 14-year-old actually discovered before the company's cybersecurity experts, but interestingly enough, the other three vulnerabilities fixed with the latest iOS update made far fewer headlines.

There aren't any new features in this update, sadly, but that isn't surprising: with issues as widespread and easily-exploitable as the Group FaceTime vulnerability, Apple typically acts quickly to stem the bleeding, so to speak. The changelog mentions "important security updates", and those include a fix for the Group FaceTime bug that was recently publicized.

Apple has finally pushed out a software update that offers a permanent fix for that embarrassing FaceTime bug that was disclosed nearly two weeks ago and which resulted in an unwelcome barrage of negative publicity for a tech giant that's made privacy a centerpiece of its corporate brand. It's now available to all iPhone and iPad users worldwide including Malaysia. Group FaceTime will remain disabled for all iOS users running iOS 12.1.3 or earlier.

With this fix finally released, you should immediately update your iOS.

Apple credited 14-year-old Grant Thompson of Tucson, Arizona, for discovering the bug, almost a week after thanking him for reporting the flaw in the first place.

On supported devices, simply open Settings - General - Software Update and follow the onscreen instructions.

If they are, you'll see the upgrade displayed on the screen with a Download and Install option also visible.

Following the release of these patches, the system status page on Apple's website has also been updated to reflect the situation.

Apple finally releases update to prevent FaceTime eavesdropping