SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – A newly discovered FaceTime bug allows people to hear and even see who is accessing iPhones using video call software, raising fears of privacy.
The bug, initially described by Apple's product and 9to5Mac.com review site, has been reported by various media outlets.
A video posted to the @BmManski Twitter account showing how easy it is to take advantage of the crash and hear an iPhone being called using FaceTime recorded more than a million views and was shared 10,000 times earlier in the night in California.
Some Twitter users offered advice to disable the FaceTime application until a fix was in place.
An Apple statement quoted in the US media said the iPhone maker was aware of this problem and "has identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week."
When a phone number is dialed on FaceTime – the iPhone's Internet-based voice and video calling feature – the caller can slip from the bottom of the screen and tap an option to add a person according to video demonstrations .
If a caller enters their number as also the caller added, a group call is initiated even though the person being called has not yet responded.
The caller can then listen to the person being called and, in some demonstrations, peer through the front camera. Decline a call interrupts the connection.
"Disable FaceTime for a while until Apple fixes it," Twitter co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey said in a tweet.
Dorsey's message included a post forwarded by technologist Andy Baio.
"Do you want to see a really bad bug?" Baio asked in his post.
"You can use FaceTime on any iOS device running 12.1 and listen remotely – WITHOUT ANOTHER PERSON RESPONDING TO THE CALL."
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comments.