Apple has come under fire for a Facetime bug that enables people to spy on call recipients without their knowledge.
The security flaw, discovered by 9to5Mac yesterday, gives Facetime callers access to both the microphone and front-facing camera of the recipient while the call is still ringing, according to reports.
The bug affects Facetime calls between iPhone, iPad or Mac devices running iOS 12.1 or later.
“We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week,” an Apple spokesperson said.
The ability to eavesdrop through Facetime affects the app's new group chat feature, which was introduced in iOS 12.1.
Group Facetime has since been disabled by Apple as a stopgap measure and the service is listed as temporarily unavailable on the firm's system status page.
New York state residents were alerted to the bug by governor Andrew Cuomo, who called the vulnerability “an egregious breach of privacy that puts New Yorkers at risk”.
“In New York, we take consumer rights very seriously and I am deeply concerned by this irresponsible bug that can be exploited for unsrupulous purposes,” Cuomo added.
“In light of this bug, I advise New Yorkers to disable their FaceTime app until a fix is made available, and I urge Apple to release the fix without delay.”
Apple users can temporarily disable FaceTime until a fix is released by going into their settings app and switching the toggle next to the application's icon to grey.