Apple has taken another step towards ensuring user privacy by disabling one of their own apps. Reportedly, Apple has temporarily disabled its Walkie-Talkie app upon finding a bug. The tech giant disabled the app after it detected the app to eavesdrop on iPhone users without their consent.
Eavesdropping Bug In Walkie-Talkie App
According to a report by TechCrunch, Apple has disabled its Walkie-Talkie app owing to a bug. The security flaw breached user’s privacy in a way that it eavesdropped on the users. The app could let a user listen to another iPhone user without consent.
The tech giant noticed the vulnerability upon receiving a direct report via their portal. As mentioned in Apple’s statement to TechCrunch,
We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function.
Since the bug in Walkie Talkie app clearly risked users’ privacy, Apple deemed it right to disable the app until a fix.
We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent.
A Fix On The Way
While the vulnerability looks like a serious issue, Apple confirmed no exploit of the flaw. Moreover, they also state that exploiting the flaw was only possible under specific conditions. Nonetheless, taking their customers’ privacy on priority, the firm disabled the bug as they work on a fix.
Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously.
The firm, for now, is working out a patch to address the flaw. Once done, they will roll out the fix to the consumers. Until then, the app will remain disabled, for which Apple apologized in their statement.
We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.
Earlier this year, Apple also patched a similar eavesdropping bug affecting Facetime. Due to a glitch in the group-calling feature of the app, the caller could hear the user on the other end even before the user opts to answer or reject the call. Apple also rewarded Grant Thompson with a bug bounty for reporting the flaw to the firm.
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