Group FaceTime Will Remain Permanently Disabled on iOS 12.1.3 and Earlier

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple today issued an apology for its major FaceTime security bug that allowed for eavesdropping on calls.


    "We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple's servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week," said Apple in a statement issued to MacRumors and other media outlets.

    For absolute clarity, we've since confirmed that this means Group FaceTime will remain permanently disabled on iOS 12.1 through iOS 12.1.3. To access Group FaceTime, users will need to update their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a software update coming next week that is likely to be iOS 12.1.4.

    Apple disabled Group FaceTime within hours of the bug making headlines, instantly preventing the bug from working.

    Widely publicized on Monday, the FaceTime bug allowed one person to call another person via FaceTime, slide up on the interface and enter their own phone number, and automatically gain access to audio from the other person's device without that person accepting the call. In some cases, even video was accessible.

    Apple's full statement issued to MacRumors:
    The bug will presumably be fixed in a subsequent iOS 12.2 beta as well.

    Group FaceTime debuted with iOS 12.1 in October.

    Article Link: Group FaceTime Will Remain Permanently Disabled on iOS 12.1.3 and Earlier
  2. nviz22 macrumors 603


    Jun 24, 2013
    Hope they fix this issue soon next week. Group FaceTime is huge.
  3. dannyyankou macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    Wait, if the issue was fixed on the server side, why would it remain disabled on 12.1.3?
  4. Pelea macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2014
    “We want to assure our customers that as soon as the media team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug...”

    I fixed apples typo.
  5. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

    Staff Member

    May 12, 2012
    Server-side is only temporary fix.

    The second they re-enable Group FaceTime, the bug would exist again on iOS 12.1 through iOS 12.1.3 (and current 12.2 betas).

    So they are never re-enabling it again on <12.1.3.

    They'll fix it in what should be 12.1.4, and likely in subsequent 12.2 betas, and only re-enable it on those versions.
  6. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    Oh the humanity! :eek::oops:

    Wait, I use zoom for group video. Never mind. ;)
  7. tpham5919 macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2016
    chandler, az
    Heh...that's one way to ensure 100% adoption rate of the new iOS release on the first day!
  8. dan9700 macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2015
    Haven't used group facetime once since launch so not bothering me
  9. jarman92 macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2014
    Lol right, I’m sure the FaceTime team was just sitting back rubbing their hands and laughing maniacally at our misfortune.

    “HA! They can listen to each other when they add themselves to their own FaceTime call! HA!”
  10. genovelle macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    Which is owned by? And what is their security and privacy policies in use. Keep in mind companies bigger than Apple can have huge gaps that actually let bad actors take over your PayPal account to clean out your bank account, but there are almost no news reports on it. So, unless it’s Apple, you would have no idea what’s happening.
  11. cocky jeremy macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Except most people will never use group FaceTime.
  12. tpham5919 macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2016
    chandler, az
    Joking aside, can you cite sources to back up your assertion? I don't recall seeing one.
  13. MrGuder macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2012
    When will it be safe to turn back on FaceTime in settings?
  14. Baumi macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2005
    My uneducated guess: The fix involved some changes in the way clients and servers communicate while setting up a Group FaceTime call. Therefore, the client software needs an update to conform to the new version of the protocol.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 1, 2019 ---
    Unless you're worried that there might be other potential security issues, you can turn it on right now. The Group FaceTime exploit stopped working the moment Apple globally disabled that functionality on their end. As of now, you can use FaceTime for one-on-one calls just like before, and after installing the promised update, group calls should be working again, as well.
  15. Kabeyun, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2019

    Kabeyun macrumors 68000


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    Now. Group calls just won’t work.
  16. Kaibelf macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2009
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Can you site a source to the contrary that shows that large numbers of people actually ARE regularly using this feature? Most people I know are on iOS (I'd estimate about 70%) and most of them don't even use 1:1 FaceTime aside from wanting to call someone on a birthday or Christmas.
  17. MadDawg2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2012
    Umm no, pretty sure Apple got it right and it’s doubtful you speak for them - you can write your own release with your own opinions.
  18. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    Meanwhile, on a Samsung Galaxy far far away, mayhem ensues from a bug in the Forcetime app....


  19. az431 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2008
    Portland, OR
    It you (and the people who liked your comment) had read the entire article you’d know that it also requires a software update issued via 12.1.4. It doesn’t state anywhere that this is server only fix.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 1, 2019 ---
    Yeah completely logical that Apple would simply hope the problem would go away on its own without their own engineers doing anything about it. But the media found out so they leaped into action.

    Makes perfect sense.
  20. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    That's not how I read the release. I read the release to say that the bug had both server side and client side components. They've implemented and tested the server side fix, now they need to finish testing the client before they put it in the hands of millions of users.
  21. az431 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Where does it say that Apple has 109 people working on emojis or that they are the same people who work on iOS
  22. ZebraDude macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2014
    Naperville, IL
    right now! Apple has deprecated their group facetime servers so there is no need to disable at your end.
  23. BaccaBossMC macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2016
    Nursing Home of the U.S.
  24. dannyyankou macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    I did read it, what did I miss? Apple clearly said they fixed the bug on their servers. Unless they meant “fixed” as “disabled”?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 1, 2019 ---
    This is what I’m thinking as well
  25. MuseumVisitor macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    Software checking...

    Software update: No new updates

    Yes, it’s upsetting that a FT caller can hear what are you saying even after you hang up. However, it’s even more scary to tell us in Face that Apple can hear anyone of us whenever they want.

    Simple Switching: Off/On

    Can you hear me now? Yes, I can.

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