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.

Related Forum: iOS 12

Top Rated Comments

Chrjy Avatar
35 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
35 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
35 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
35 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
35 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
35 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

iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
maxresdefault

'Being James Bond' Retrospective Will Be Free to Watch Through Apple TV App

Tuesday August 31, 2021 8:25 am PDT by
Update 9/7/21: "Being James Bond" is now available to watch through the Apple TV app. Ahead of the theatrical release of James Bond film "No Time To Die" on October 8 in the United States, a 45-minute retrospective titled "Being James Bond" will be available to watch for free through the Apple TV app, according to Deadline. The story from MGM is said to feature Daniel Craig reflecting ...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...