Saturday, 20 July, 2019


Apple disables its walkie-talkie Watch app due to vulnerability

Apple Disables Walkie-Talkie App On Apple Watch; Cites Eavesdropping Vulnerability Apple disables its walkie-talkie Watch app due to vulnerability
Melba Vasquez | 11 July, 2019, 19:57

Apple deactivated the Walkie-Talkie app on its Apple Watch after being alerted to a vulnerability that potentially left iPhones open to eavesdroppers.

The Walkie-Talkie app debuted on the Apple Watch with watchOS 5 last fall and allows users who have accepted invites from each other to simply push a button on their Watch to talk to each other instantly, just as you could do with old-school walkie-talkies.

The company said it had found no evidence that the vulnerability had been exploited, and apologised for the inconvenience to customers.

Apple has apologized for the privacy blunder, and says it is now working on a fix.

In a statement, Apple apologised for the bug, which is believed to have been flagged to the company through its own security issue reporting website.

Apparently, the flaw could have allowed a skilled enough hacker to "listen through another customer's iPhone without consent".

The Apple Watch's Walkie-Talkie app has been disabled.

At the end of the day, although iPhone and Apple Watch users have every reason to be annoyed by these discoveries and the temporary deactivation of the Walkie-Talkie app, the important thing to remember is this particular vulnerability was never exploited (at least to Apple's current knowledge) and the functionality will be restored "as soon as possible".

The bug makes use of the Walkie-Talkie feature, a relatively new Apple Watch app that lets you voice-chat with other smartwatch owners.

Earlier this year, Apple temporarily disabled its Group FaceTime call after a glitch was discovered which in some cases enabled people to listen in on someone they were calling even before the call was answered.

It comes three days after a researcher revealed a vulnerability on video-conferencing service Zoom's Mac app, which left users vulnerable to having their webcams remotely activated.

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