Apple releases iOS 12.1.4 update with Group FaceTime bug fix

Judy Cobb
February 8, 2019

The bug enabled interlopers to turn an iPhone into a live microphone while using Group FaceTime.

The fix comes in the form of a new iOS update available now - iOS 12.1.4 - which corrects the bug that allowed users with the latest iOS software to initiate a call to anyone via FaceTime and immediately start hearing audio on the other person's end even before they accepted or rejected the call.

The bug was discovered by 14-year-old Grant Thompson from Arizona and his name was credited on the security page together with Daven Morris from Texas as shown above. The arrival of the new version of iOS comes just two days after a pair of congressmen sent a letter (which you can read here) to CEO Tim Cook that included a list of questions they'd like him to answer in the wake of the bug.

Apple, which has $245 billion in cash, did not disclose how much it is disclosing to Thompson's college fund or the bounty it is paying.

In addition to the macOS and iOS updates, Apple also released Shortcuts 2.1.3 to fix vulnerabilities found in Shortcuts for iOS.

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Today, Apple has released iOS 12.1.4 and a macOS Mojave 10.14.3 Supplemental Update that fixes this FaceTime bug. While they were fixing the bug, they disabled Group FaceTime, so that the bug could not be abused.

During the audit of FaceTime, Apple also discovered another bug in Live Photos that was related to FaceTime.

After you've installed the update, you can feel safe re-enabling FaceTime on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. If that option is grayed out, make sure you're connected to a Wi-Fi network and/or start charging your device.

While you're there, you can choose to automatically install updates.

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