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By Bruce Sussman
Tue | Jan 29, 2019 | 8:05 AM PST

Did you hear about the iPhone FaceTime bug or FaceTime glitch that allows others to watch or listen to you without your knowledge?

Details started emerging yesterday, and SecureWorld keynote speaker Dr. Chris Pierson says his company's team was able to recreate the glitch. Pierson is CEO and founder of BlackCloak.

"This bug means unfettered access to whoever is in listening or visual range of the device—from boardrooms, private offices, financial institutions, and our bedrooms, it is possible to gain access to this private information."

Watch the iPhone FaceTime bug in action

BuzzFeed reporter @itsnicolenguyen tweeted a video of the group FaceTime bug. This is how easy it is:

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How the iPhone FaceTime glitch works

  • Find someone you want to call on FaceTime
  • Start a FaceTime video call
  • Once the call is dialing, swipe up on your phone and tap Add a Person.
  • Add your own phone number (so you are adding yourself)
  • Suddenly, a group FaceTime call will start, and you'll be able to hear and possibly see the person you were originally calling, even if they have not answered. You have access to their device and can now listen or watch.

Apple's response to FaceTime glitch

Apple responded to the glitch by disabling Group FaceTime for now. 

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We'll update this story when a patch for the Apple FaceTime bug becomes available.

The risk from the Apple FaceTime glitch

So what is the risk here, and what should you do right now about the FaceTime privacy bug? We asked Chris Pierson about the best steps to take.

"Those persons who deal with sensitive financial data, government secrets, healthcare data, or intellectual property, as well as top corporate executives and board members, should immediately disable FaceTime on all of their devices until a patch has been implemented."

This is an extra layer of security to ensure your privacy.

New York's governor issues statement on FaceTime glitch

New York's governor issued a consumer alert that called the glitch irresponsible. Does he know something about how this bug came about, or is he preparing for a lawsuit in this case?

"The FaceTime bug is an egregious breach of privacy that puts New Yorkers at risk," Governor Cuomo said. "In New York, we take consumer rights very seriously and I am deeply concerned by this irresponsible bug that can be exploited for unscrupulous purposes."

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