Apple's iOS 12.1.4 Update Also Fixes Live Photos Vulnerability, FaceTime Bug Reporter to Receive Bounty and Gift Toward Education

Following the release of iOS 12.1.4, Apple today issued an apology to customers and said that it had found and fixed the Group FaceTime bug and an additional security vulnerability involving Live Photos in the ‌FaceTime‌ app.


From a statement provided to MacRumors:

Today's software update fixes the security bug in Group FaceTime. We again apologize to our customers and we thank them for their patience. In addition to addressing the bug that was reported, our team conducted a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service and made additional updates to both the FaceTime app and server to improve security. This includes a previously unidentified vulnerability in the Live Photos feature of FaceTime. To protect customers who have not yet upgraded to the latest software, we have updated our servers to block the Live Photos feature of FaceTime for older versions of iOS and macOS."

Going forward, Apple says that the ‌Live Photos‌ feature will not be available in ‌FaceTime‌ on older versions of iOS and macOS. Capturing a Live Photo will require iOS 12.1.4 or the new version of macOS 10.14.3. Apple is also restricting Group ‌FaceTime‌ from devices running earlier versions of iOS.

Apple in a security document released this morning outlines the specific fixes that were implemented in iOS 12.1.4 and the macOS 10.14.3 supplemental update.

Apple fixed a logic issue that existed in the handling of Group ‌FaceTime‌ calls with improved state management, and the Group ‌FaceTime‌ testing led to the discovery of the ‌Live Photos‌ issue. Apple says that the ‌Live Photos‌ bug was fixed with "improved validation on the ‌FaceTime‌ server."

Additional Foundation and IOKit bugs were fixed in iOS as well, addressing memory corruption issues that could lead to elevated privileges for applications.

Apple lists Grant Thompson of Catalina Foothills High School as one of the people who discovered the ‌FaceTime‌ bug. Thompson and his mother made multiple attempts to get into contact with Apple to inform the company of the bug well ahead of when it went public. Daven Morris of Arlington, TX is also listed as a person who discovered the vulnerability and reported it to Apple.

Apple has apologized for missing those messages and has vowed to improve its bug reporting system to make sure future bug reports are distributed to the right people. Apple will be compensating the Thompson family for finding and reporting the bug, and Apple will be providing an additional scholarship to be put towards Thompson's education.

Related Forum: iOS 12

Top Rated Comments

motm95 Avatar
69 months ago
As much as I get annoyed at Apple these days for various things, and even though it is extremely concerning that Apple let a bug this serious slip through in the first place, I have to say overall Apple is pretty darn responsive at addressing security problems and releasing updates. I am also very glad that iPhone users don't have to rely on wireless carriers to get these security fixes.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
69 months ago
I’d love to get paid for accidentally calling myself over Group FaceTime.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alirz Avatar
69 months ago
$50 gift card for them i bet and a 10% discount on a new Mac pro.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jtara Avatar
69 months ago
If this young man decides to go into security he could get into some very lucrative work in short order
There's no great white-hat hacking or technical knowledge at play here. The kid was observant, and realized it wasn't right. (Not to denigrate any technical expertise or talent that he does have - I have no knowledge.)

I’d love to get paid for accidentally calling myself over Group FaceTime
He did more than just accidentally called himself over group Facetime. He followed-through and persisted when adults basically told him "go away, kid, ya bother me!"

That persistence is a great trait, no matter WHAT profession he chooses.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
whooleytoo Avatar
69 months ago
Sounds good. But I hope it's not just a reactive bounty, but they're also looking at bounty programmes going forward.

Apple really needs to 'double down' on security. These are not minor glitches.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
killawat Avatar
69 months ago
Getting an official credit like this is huge. If this young man decides to go into security he could get into some very lucrative work in short order. Congratulations to you and your family.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices [Updated]

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
iphone se 4 modified flag edges

When to Expect the Next iPhone SE to Launch

Friday May 17, 2024 2:03 pm PDT by
It has been over two years since Apple released the third-generation iPhone SE, and rumors continue to surface about a new model. The latest word comes from The Information, which today reported that Apple plans to release a new iPhone SE with a design similar to the standard iPhone 14 in the spring of 2025. If this rumor is accurate, the iPhone SE would finally gain Face ID and a notch...
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...
iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...
iphone 15 pro max vs iphone 16 pro max

iPhone 16 Pro Max Looks This Much Bigger Beside iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday May 16, 2024 4:51 am PDT by
This year's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a boost in overall size from 6.7-inches to 6.9-inches, and a new image gives us a good idea of how the current iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to what could be Apple's largest ever iPhone. The image above, posted on X by ZONEofTECH, shows a dummy model representing the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max alongside an actual iPhone 15 Pro Max. Dummy...