A significant error has been discovered in FaceTime and currently spreads virally over social media. The error lets you call someone with FaceTime and immediately hear the sound from their phone – before the person at the other end has accepted or rejected the incoming call.
Of course, this poses a beautiful privacy issue that you can essentially listen to on any iOS user, even if it still rings as normal, so you can't be 100% hidden about it. Nevertheless, there is no indication on the recipient's side that you could hear any of their sound.
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9to5Mac has rendered the FaceTime error with an iPhone X calling an iPhone XR, but it is believed to affect a few iOS devices running iOS 12.1 or later.
How to make iPhone FaceTime error:
- Start a FaceTime video call with an iPhone contact.
- While the call is ringing, turn up the bottom of the screen and press Add Person.
- Add your own phone number to the Add Person screen.
- You then start a group of FaceTime calls including yourself and the sound of the person you originally called, even if they have not yet accepted the call.
It will look like the user interface, just as the other person has joined the group chat, but on their current device it will still ring on the lock screen.
While the call is ringing, turn up from the bottom of the screen and add yourself to the call.
The damage potential here is right. You can listen to audio bits from any iPhone user's ongoing conversation without knowing you could hear them. Until Apple fixes the error, it's not clear how to defend yourself against this attack, either completely disabling FaceTime.
As it says, if your phone rings with an incoming FaceTime request, the person at the other end can hear in.
We also repeated the problem with an iPhone calling a Mac. By default, the Mac calls longer than a phone so it can act as an error for an even longer duration.
It is not clear whether the iPhone FaceTime error can be resolved on the server side or whether Apple should quickly roll out a software update. At least something soothing, the bay doesn't seem to expose the camcorder to hidden espionage – just the microphone.
– Benji Mobb ™ (@BmManski) January 28, 2019