Apple apologizes for massive FaceTime flaw, says fix coming next week

Key Points
  • Apple apologizes for a massive FaceTime bug that let people eavesdrop on others, even if they never answered a FaceTime call.
  • Apple thanks the family of a 14-year-old who helped bring the bug to national attention.
  • Apple says a fix is now coming next week, not this week.
FaceTime on an iPhone.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple on Friday apologized for a massive FaceTime flaw that allowed folks to eavesdrop on other people. It said a fix that will re-enable group FaceTime is now scheduled to be released next week.

Word about the bug went viral this week after people noticed that it was possible to listen in on, or even see someone, during a group FaceTime call, even if the person receiving the call didn't pick up.

Apple credited the family of a 14-year-old boy who helped discover the bug and report it to Apple, though the company didn't appear to react immediately to his report.

Earlier this week, Michele Thompson, the mother of the 14-year old Apple credits with finding the bug, told CNBC that her son discovered it while group FaceTiming with friends. Thompson said she tried to report the bug to Apple but that she never received a response from the company.

Apple's statement says the company is "committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate" reports of bugs.

The company disabled group FaceTime as a temporary fix but said that a more permanent solution will roll out in a software update next week. Apple had originally said that a fix was coming this week.

Here's the company's full apology and statement:

We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple's servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone's patience as we complete this process.

We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix. We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us.

Apple announces group Facetime
Apple announces group Facetime