Apple disables group FaceTime after glitch discovered

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Apple has disabled its group FaceTime feature after the discovery of a security bug that allowed users access the microphone and possibly front facing camera of the person they were Facetiming even if that person rejected the call.

Nicole Nguyen, a Technology reporter at Buzzfeed news showed ABC7 News how.

"In this view you swipe up from the bottom to start a group FaceTime chat you can add a person and the person you add is yourself," said Nguyen.

It was that particular set of actions, adding yourself to a group FaceTime chat you had already initiated that triggered the bug.

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Nguyen and her colleagues discovered if the person on the receiving end rejected the FaceTime call using the volume down button the initiator of the call would not only have access to the receiver's microphone but to that person's front facing camera as well.

"Maybe the worst privacy bug that I've seen from Apple on an apple product," said Nguyen.

Mike Murray is the Chief Security Officer at Lookout, a cyber security company.

"Whoever found this managed to find this one weird thing that gave them odd behavior. This is how all hacking works," said Murray.

Murray says it's a wake up call for all of us.

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"I think the importance of this story is to remind everyone that these devices are powerful computers that have access to everything," said Murray.

Apple says it has identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.

Once the Apple Security Patch comes out security experts recommend upgrading your system. Then they say you can go back to using FaceTime.

To disable FaceTime on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, follow these steps.

Disabling FaceTime on a Mac:
--Open the FaceTime app
--Choose FaceTime in the menu
--Choose "Turn off FaceTime"

Disabling FaceTime on an iPhone or iPad:
--Open Settings
--Scroll down to FaceTime app
--Hit the button, turning green slider to gray

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