There are some silent threats that can become very serious if precautions are not taken. Facetime exploits are one of them.
If you’re a FaceTime user, it’s probably worth deactivating the feature when it is not in use. At least, until we verify that Apple releases the case update (expected this week).
Victor Chebyshev of Kaspersky Lab shared his research findings:
“From what has been reported so far in the media, it would seem difficult for an attacker to exploit this error to stealthily monitor his targets, as the potential victim would receive an incoming call alert.”
The company has also temporarily disabled FaceTime’s group chat feature to further protect users from possible abuse of privacy. We encourage anyone who remains concerned about their security to disable FaceTime until the Apple patch is released.
This threat does not require you to click on a link, inadvertently download a compromised file, or even answer a call. This vulnerability is like the flu and other silent respiratory viruses that spread through FaceTime.
All of the above happens without having to answer the call on the receiver’s device (with iOS 12 or higher). The sender can simulate a kind of group conversation and add its own subscriber number, and then listen. If they are dedicated enough, they can access an iPhone or iPad camera (some users claim hackers have replicated the problem on a Mac). They initially do this to the first device they infect, but they can infect other devices later.
It is important to remember that the first participant will not notice what is happening at all. The first infected device will still ring waiting for the reception of the incoming call.
Deactivating Facetime as Needed
Fortunately, deactivating Facetime is pretty straightforward. You just need to take the steps listed below.
After it became known that the app was spying on users, many have wondered how to delete it from devices and here’s the answer.
Unfortunately, the security flaw in FaceTime’s app is damaging Apple’s credibility with its users, so many are wondering how they can uninstall it from their devices. The good news is that the app doesn’t need to be uninstalled altogether. You can just deactivate it when it isn’t in use. This will almost entirely eliminate the risk of having your Facetime account get hacked. You just need to coordinate with people you talk to through text messages before jumping on a Facetime call.
This is a consequence of people being fed up with the lack of respect for their privacy, and it is valid at least until the company fixes the problem and promises it won’t happen again.
While this happens and the respective security patch is being applied, the procedure for removing the iPhone and Mac application respectively will be released.
But before releasing this type of information, you should check if you are susceptible to this type of bug, and the form is simple, because you only need to know the version of the iPhone, as it attacks from 12.1 to 12.1.3.
Disable FaceTime on iPhone
The procedure for disabling Facetime on the smartphone is quick and easy. You just need to follow the steps listed below:
- Go to Settings
- Find the FaceTime app
- Move the circle to the left to deactivate it.
It is that easy.
Disable FaceTime on Mac
On Apple computers, the method is also quick and easy. You just need to do the following:
- Open the application
- Click Menu
- Select Preferences
- Remove the popcorn from Activate in this account
You can always reactivate it when you need to use it again.