The Apple Watch Walkie-Talkie app was disabled after Apple discovered a vulnerability that allowed people to listen on other iPhones, the company tells TechCrunch. Apple is unaware that the vulnerability has been used and has not provided details about how it works, without saying that "specific circumstances and series of events are required to exploit it."
This is Apple's explanation TechCrunch:
We have just been notified of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the feature because we are resolving the issue quickly. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore functionality as quickly as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability to a customer and specific circumstances and series of events are required to exploit them, we take the safety and privacy of our customers very seriously. We concluded that turning off the app was the right way to go, because this bug could make someone else's iPhone listen without permission. We apologize for this problem and the inconvenience.
Walkie-Talkie is an Apple Watch app that offers push-to-talk conversations via a pinched form of FaceTime Audio. It has been added to the Apple Watch with last year's release of watchOS 5. The app itself is still installed on users' watches, but calls will not continue.
This is the second time this year that Apple has disabled a FaceTime calling feature. A vulnerability was discovered in January in the new group conversation functionality that allowed people to listen on devices before a conversation was recorded. Apple reacted slowly to that bug, which was reported to the company the week before.
It appears that Apple has been facing this issue in the near future, and the timing is remarkable for another reason – yesterday, Apple took decisive action to remove Zoom & # 39; s Web server software from Macs after the video conferencing app discovered an important own vulnerability bug.