Attorney Larry Williams II said in his complaint to the court that the issue allowed the intrusion of “one’s most intimate conversations without consent,” reports Bloomberg.
The bug is present in Apple devices running iOS 12.1 or later, as well as Macs running Mojave. By initiating a Group Call and adding your own number after calling someone on FaceTime, it’s possible to hear the recipient’s audio before they answer. Should they use the power button to silence or ignore the incoming call, the camera will also be enabled, giving the dialer both audio and video of the person before they pick up.
Williams, who said he was eavesdropped on while taking a sworn testimony during a client deposition, seeks unspecified punitive damages on his claims of negligence, product liability, misrepresentation, and warranty breach.
Apple has disabled Group FaceTime to stop the vulnerability from being exploited. The Cupertino firm says it is working on a fix that’s scheduled to be released later this week.
In related news, Apple was reportedly warned about the issue over a week ago. Fourteen-year-old Grant Thompson first made the accidental discovery, after which his mother, Michele Thompson, tried to inform the company via emails, calls, and tweets at CEO Tim Cook.
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— MGT7 (@MGT7500) January 21, 2019
As reported by CNN, Grant said he was hoping to get an Apple product, such as an iPhone X or MacBook Pro, for spotting the glitch. Michele says that while they didn’t report it for a reward, an acknowledgment would be appreciated.
I have letters, emails, tweets and msgs. sent to Apple for 10+ days reporting the Group FaceTime bug that lets someone listen in. My teenager discovered it! Never heard back from them. #apple #facetimebug @FoxNews @cnbc @CNN— MGT7 (@MGT7500) January 29, 2019
"Apple should reward people for reporting things of this nature -- not just reward the developers or the people who are savvy with tech," she said. "I think just thanking him would be great," she said.