Today, Apple released a software update, iOS 12.1.4, that includes an important fix for a bug in the Group FaceTime video chat feature.
The security flaw gave callers access to the call recipient's microphone and front-facing camera. "We again apologize to our customers and we thank them for their patience," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.
After performing a security audit, the company also discovered a previously unreported vulnerability in a separate feature that allows participants to capture Live Photos during a FaceTime call. "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," the spokesperson said.
You should update your iPhone as soon as possible to receive the latest product security updates.
This is especially important when an update offers a patch for a serious vulnerability! It's simple to do: Back up your iOS device, connect to a Wi-Fi network, and go to Settings > General > Software Update to install the latest version of the operating system, iOS 12.1.4.
Grant Thompson, a 14-year-old from Arizona, and his mother tried to warn Apple about the Group FaceTime bug for weeks before the company finally acknowledged the issue. The company is compensating the Thompson family for reporting the bug, and contributing an additional gift to the teen's education. Daven Morris of Arlington, Texas, is also credited for reporting the flaw in Apple's security updates.