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Here's how to update your iPhone to fix Apple's FaceTime privacy bug

09 February 2019

German bug hunter Linus Henze said he would not release details of the problem to Apple until it included MacOS in its bounty programme.

Two leading Democrats from the House of Representatives questioned CEO Tim Cook Tuesday over the delay in both responding to the query from Michele Thompson and the time it took to rectify the issue.

The fix is included in the latest version of Apple's iOS 12 system, which became available to install Thursday. By initiating a Group Call and adding your own number after calling someone on FaceTime, it was possible to hear the recipient's audio before they answered. On a Mac, head to Apple menu System Preferences Software Update.

More importantly, the iOS update ships with an acknowledgement of the discovery that credits 14-year-old Grant Thompson for finding the bug. While they were fixing the bug, they disabled Group FaceTime, so that the bug could not be abused.

The company noted that a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service also brought to light a previously unidentified vulnerability in its Live Photos service.

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"Today's software update fixes the security bug in Group FaceTime", Apple said in a statement.

Apple has released an iOS and macOS update, which fixes the FaceTime privacy bug that was highlighted last week. The CVE-2019-7286 vulnerability is apparently a "memory corruption issue" that potentially allowed "an application to gain elevated privileges", with a different "memory corruption issue" referenced as CVE-2019-7287 as it opened the door for "an application to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges".

Launch System Preferences and open Software Update. Here's what's fixed and how to apply the updates.

If they are, you'll see the upgrade displayed on the screen with a Download and Install option also visible.

Here's how to update your iPhone to fix Apple's FaceTime privacy bug