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Authorities confront Apple over Group Facetime bug, demand explanation

Authorities confront Apple over Group Facetime bug, demand explanation
  • The Energy and Commerce Committee has sent a letter to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook asking him to elaborate on measures taken after the security incident.
  • This comes after iPhones with iOS 12.1 or later were hit with a Group FaceTime bug last week that allowed users to snoop on other users in a FaceTime call.

A week after iPhones were swamped with the FaceTime bug, government officials are demanding answers from Apple regarding security measures.

House of Representatives not pleased with Apple

The House Energy and Commerce Committee led by Frank Pallone, Jr. and and Jan Schakowsky, Chairwoman of Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, sent a letter to Tim Cook asking a clear, detailed explanation on measures taken by the company after the recent security incident.

“As a first step, we believe it is important for Apple to be transparent about its investigation into the Group FaceTime feature’s vulnerability and the steps it is taking to protect consumers’ privacy. To date, we do not believe Apple has been as transparent as this serious issue requires. Specifically, we request a written response to the following questions no later than February 19, 2019”, indicated the letter. As mentioned, it has six questions that Apple has to answer regarding security policies.

Apple apologized for the bug

Following the Group FaceTime incident, Apple responded with an apology and disabled the feature until it would fix the issue completely with an official software update. However, the company did not mention any specific measures to curtail security incidents such as this, which prompted officials to ask for answers to the company.

The bug was discovered on January 28, 2019 by a 14-year old named Grant Thompson. It allowed users to listen to their recipients even if they did not respond to calls made to them. In addition, if the recipient pressed the Power Button from the Lock screen, their video would also be sent to the caller.

Apple has promised a security update to fix this vulnerability that is supposed to be released this week.

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