A serious Apple IOS vulnerability has been detected that allows people to gain access to both the microphone and the front facing camera on Apple devices by exploiting a flaw in FaceTime. Further, the flaw even allows microphone/camera access if the call is not answered. The flaw has prompted many security experts to suggest Apple device owners to stop using FaceTime until the flaw is corrected.
To exploit the flaw, a user would need to use FaceTime to call another person with an iOS device. Before the call is answered, the user would need to add themselves as an additional contact to Group FaceTime. Once that has happened, the person being called would have their microphone turned on and the caller could listen to what is happening in the room, even if the call is not answered.
If the person being called was to mute the call (by pressing the power button) the front facing camera would also be activated, giving the caller video footage as well as audio.
Security experts have warned that it doesn’t matter whether the call is answered, simply by calling a person it is possible to listen to what is happening in the room and see everything in the camera’s field of view. While this could prove embarrassing for some FaceTime users, it could also result n serious harm. Compromising footage could be recorded and used for blackmail.
Many cases of this happening have been posted on social media networks and it is clear that this Apple IOS vulnerability is being actively exploited. Apple is aware of the issue and has announced that a fix will be issued later this week. Until such time, Apple device owners have been advised to disable FaceTime through device settings. If FaceTime is disabled, the flaw cannot be exploited.