Following the exposure of a major FaceTime security hole earlier today, Apple has now taken Group FaceTime completely offline. This comes after the company said a fix for the FaceTime calling bug is coming “later this week,” but failed to address specifics.
As we reported, this major FaceTime bug lets you hear the audio of the person you are calling before they pick up. To do this, you simply start a FaceTime video call with someone in your contacts, swipe up from the bottom and choose “Add Person.” Then, add your own phone number, which starts a Group FaceTime with you and the person you originally called, even if they didn’t accept the call.
Thus, you can hear the audio of the person you called, even if they didn’t answer, and they can’t tell that you can hear them.
Apple updated its system status webpage this evening to confirm that Group FaceTime is currently unavailable. Despite this change, however, the FaceTime calling bug is seemingly still live for some users, as 9to5Mac continues to be able to reproduce the issue.
It’s possible that Apple is still in the process of completely taking Group FaceTime offline, with the change taking time to propagate to all servers. This could explain why some people are still able to reproduce the calling exploit and other people are not. We still recommend completely disabling FaceTime for the time being. Theoretically, because the security flaw is Group FaceTime-based, taking the feature offline should eventually resolve it, though it’s not an ideal solution in the long-term.
There is no timetable for when Group FaceTime will completely return, but it will likely coincide with the release of a fix for the FaceTime security hole. Apple says it will release an update “later this week” to resolve the issue.
Is the FaceTime calling bug still live for you? Let us know down in the comments.
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