Apple Watch’s Walkie-Talkie App Disabled Due to Eavesdropping Bug

Ceria Alfonso
Julio 11, 2019

Apple disabled Group FaceTime once the issue was discovered, creating an emergency bug fix a week and a half later as part of iOS 12.1.4.

Case in point, it seems that Apple reacted to reports of this latest "vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app" very promptly, disabling the function before the flaw could ever be exploited out in the wild and obviously working on a fix to be deployed as soon as possible.

"We apologise again for this issue and the inconvenience".

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch after a vulnerability that potentially allows for eavesdropping on iPhone conversations emerged.

There's no word on when the feature will be reactivated, and there's no clear indication as to whether the bug is client-side on the device or a server-side issue. The feature was added to Watch with the release of watchOS 5, and gives users a fun, Dick Tracy-like way to communicate, anywhere in the world. While somewhat gimmicky, we can absolutely understand why certain users would find Walkie-Talkie useful in certain scenarios when writing a text or making a call on their iPhone is simply not as convenient.

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At this time, Apple says that it is now working on a fix for the Walkie-Talkie app bug, but fell short of saying when the fix would be available. In the meantime, you'll just have to hold off on using this feature on your Apple Watch.

Apple was criticized at the time for being too slow to respond to the bug.

The issue - which was a problem with the Zoom video chat app rather than with Apple's own software - let crooks turn Mac webcams on remotely.

Apple even took a dig at Google and Amazon with a giant data privacy billboard at January's CES 2019 tech convention.

This story originally appeared in The Sun.

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