Invasive iPhone bug makes hacking effortless

By Hayley Thompson
February 16, 2019


A serious iPhone FaceTime bug allows you to hear audio from the person you are calling without them even picking up the call. This major error on Apple’s behalf is currently going viral online. Several videos have been posted across multiple social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat showing how easily this glitch works.

According to the viral video posted by aspiring artist Benji Mobb from Chicago, there are only two steps. All you need to do is call someone on FaceTime and then add yourself to that call.

Complex Magazine sharing @BmManski’s shocking video that has been seen over 6.25 million times. Photo from Twitter

The person on the other end of the line does not need to pick up the phone. As long as you have completed those two steps, you are connected to their microphone and they have absolutely no idea.

Although this bug does not allow you to be secretive while hacking someone’s phone because it still rings like normal, it is entirely too easy. Any Apple user that has iOS 12.1 or above, which was released in October, can do it.

This presents a severe privacy problem for all iPhone users. As of right now, any incoming FaceTime request to your updated phone could be listening or watching.

Senior criminology major Tyler Chamberlain is not a fan of Apple.

“Apple’s software was made to be accessible for a seven or 70-year-old,” Chamberlain said.

Although Chamberlain believes that his Android has more security than Apple’s iPhone, experts beg to differ. According to MarketWatch, Androids are more vulnerable to hacking. This is because Apple’s iOS has more regulations when it comes to which apps are in the app store.

Junior American studies major Grace Newton says that the iPhone bug is a huge concern for iPhone users everywhere.

“I think that this issue poses a great threat to all iPhone users. We think that we are somewhat safe while using our phone but in reality we’re not safe,” Newton said.

The test done by BuzzFeed News accessing not only the microphone but the camera as well. Photo by Noga Raviv/BuzzFeed News

According to 9to5Mac, they concluded that the bug does not easily expose the camera after analyzing the steps themselves. They determined that it is only fairly easy to access soundbites from the person you are calling, not their camera.

However, a test done by BuzzFeed News validates all speculations that the camera can be accessed as well. After BuzzFeed’s test caller began hearing audio from the other phone, they pressed the volume-down button and footage from the other phone could be seen.

Due to this invasive bug, Apple has decided to temporarily take group FaceTime offline to try to resolve this large-scale security hole. On Monday, Jan. 28, Apple released a statement saying that the company is aware of FaceTime’s major complication. A solution for this problem “will be released in a software update later this week.”

If you wish to disable FaceTime on your Apple device, follow these simple instructions. Open up “Settings” and scroll about halfway down to select “FaceTime.” The green slider indicates that FaceTime is enabled. Tap the slider to disable FaceTime on your devices. To know if you did this correctly, the green button should have turned gray and all of the settings below should have disappeared.

Hayley Thompson

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