Apple sued over FaceTime eavesdropping bug

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 30 Jan 2019
Apple sued over FaceTime eavesdropping bug
  • The bug was discovered by a 14 year old teenager who wanted to chat with his friends while playing Fortnite

Highlights

  • Apple is being sued by a lawyer over the FaceTime Bug
  • The bug lets users eavesdrop on others without them knowing
  • The bug was discovered by a 14-year-old

Recently it was discovered that an iPhone user could eavesdrop on another iPhone or Mac user using the group FaceTime feature. Now, the Cupertino giant is being sued because of the bug. Bloomberg has reported that a Houston based lawyer is claiming that his iPhone allowed an unknown person to eavesdrop on a private conversation with a client. According to the Bloomberg report, “Attorney Larry Williams II said the glitch intrudes on the privacy of “one’s most intimate conversations without consent,” according to the complaint he filed in state court in Houston. He said he was eavesdropped on while taking sworn testimony during a client deposition. Williams is seeking unspecified punitive damages on his claims of negligence, product liability, warranty breach.” According to the source, Apple has declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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The FaceTime bug was reportedly found by a teenager who wanted to chat with his friends while playing Fortnite. 14-year-old Grant Thompson in Tucson, Arizona wanted to FaceTime his friends while playing the game. On Jan 19, Thompson called his friend using FaceTime. When his friend did not receive the call, he immediately went on to add another friend to the call. By doing so, Thompson could hear his first friends voice at the other end of the line. His friend however, could only see the ringing screen that one sees when receiving a FaceTime call. He tried it a bunch of times to see if it would happen again and in doing so discovered the bug. Grant got the bug to the attention of his mother Michele Thompson, a lawyer by profession who “tried to notify Apple of the flaw through a variety of avenues, many of which were dead ends.” She also took to twitter to highlight the problem. Her tweet reads, “My teen found a major security flaw in Apple’s new iOS. He can listen in to your iPhone/iPad without your approval. I have video. Submitted bug report to @AppleSupport...waiting to hear back to provide details. Scary stuff! #apple #bugreport @foxnews”

According to emails Michele Thompson shared with NBC News, she tried to get in touch with Apple's general counsel with a letter headline, "Urgent Security Issue Regarding iOS 12.1.3." But got no response for this. She also shared a video showing the step by step process accessing the bug. The video is not public as it contains their phone numbers. 

The story about the iOS bug was first broken by 9to5 Mac. You can read about the bug in detail here.  

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