Apple's iOS 12.1.4 Update to Fix FaceTime Eavesdropping Bug Showing Up in Analytics

Apple's upcoming fix for the FaceTime eavesdropping bug that was discovered on Monday will come in the form of an iOS 12.1.4 update, according to MacRumors analytics data.

We began seeing a handful of visits from devices running an iOS 12.1.4 update on January 29, the day after the bug was widely publicized and spread across the internet.

ios1214analytics
Apple on Monday said that a software fix for the issue would come "later this week," but now that it's Thursday, there's not a lot of time left. Apple could still release the update later today, but if not, Friday morning is the likely target launch date.

The FaceTime eavesdropping bug allowed iPhone users to exploit a privacy-invading Group ‌FaceTime‌ flaw that let one person connect to another person and hear conversations (and see video, in some cases) without the other person ever having accepted the call.

The ‌FaceTime‌ bug in action

Apple has put a stop to the ‌FaceTime‌ bug by disabling Group ‌FaceTime‌ server side, leaving the feature unavailable, but questions remain about how long the bug was accessible and how long Apple knew about it before attempting a fix.

The mother of the teenager who originally discovered the bug shared convincing evidence that she contacted the Cupertino company as early as January 20. She did not receive a response from Apple despite sending emails and a video.

It's not clear, therefore, when the right team at Apple learned of the bug and when work on a fix was started. We did not see signs of iOS 12.1.4 in our analytics data prior to January 29, but it's possible Apple was working on a fix earlier than that.

The multi-day wait for an official solution to perhaps one of the worst Apple-related privacy bugs we've seen, however, does suggest that development on iOS 12.1.4 did not start too far ahead of when the bug went public.

Top Rated Comments

Chrjy Avatar
27 months ago
I'm sorry Apple, but QA didn't try hard enough to break it. With a feature this sensitive, it is necessary to have a couple of employees trying to break things all day every day. I know not every bug can be discovered in time, but obvious ones like this should be caught before release.
I disagree. This was an edge case bug. In fact it took a long while before millions of users had been using group FaceTime before it came to light.

It certainly wasn't an 'obvious' bug.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
27 months ago
It's about time. I tried the bug out on a friend and the results were… eye-opening. :(



Attachment Image
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Uaaerospace2 Avatar
27 months ago
Adding another person to the call is a documented function. So adding yourself to the call is a boundary condition. If it only takes two steps to reproduce the bug, then it should have been discovered. If it took 10 steps, then I would say it wouldn't be an obvious one. Either way, this family deserves to get a reward.
This is an embarrassing bug, but clearly you’ve never developed a piece of software, have you?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DJLAXL Avatar
27 months ago
Does anyone else know of a more friendly Apple site with other friendly actual Apple enthusiasts? Seriously, for as long as I've lurked on here it's all negative people who are Apple haters commenting. Pointless to be on here anymore. All this negative news is hardly "rumors".
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cppguy Avatar
27 months ago
I'm sorry Apple, but QA didn't try hard enough to break it. With a feature this sensitive, it is necessary to have a couple of employees trying to break things all day every day. I know not every bug can be discovered in time, but obvious ones like this should be caught before release.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dandy1117 Avatar
27 months ago
I'm sorry Apple, but QA didn't try hard enough to break it. With a feature this sensitive, it is necessary to have a couple of employees trying to break things all day every day. I know not every bug can be discovered in time, but obvious ones like this should be caught before release.
Don't forget that this bug likely existed in the months of developer and public beta testing as well and wasn't discovered by users. If so, it wouldn't be fair to classify it as an "obvious" bug.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
apple refurbished m1 mac mini

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished M1 Mac Mini

Thursday February 25, 2021 6:42 pm PST by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished Mac mini models with the M1 chip for the first time in the United States and Canada, with prices discounted by approximately 15 percent compared to brand new models as usual. For example, a refurbished Mac mini with the M1 chip, 256GB of SSD storage, and 16GB of unified memory is available for $759, compared to $899 brand new. Other custom...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...