Apple disables Walkie-Talkie app over iPhone eavesdropping bug

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

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple deactivated the Walkie-Talkie app on its Apple Watch after being alerted to a vulnerability that doubtlessly left iPhones open to eavesdroppers. The firm confirmed the issue to TechCrunch and stated it is engaged on a repair.

The Walkie-Talkie characteristic, which got here with 2018’s WatchOS 5, permits you to press a button and discuss, then hear one other particular person’s voice come again at you. Apple later made it simpler to allow and disable, however for the second it is unavailable.

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The bug was reported to Apple by way of its safety portal, TechCrunch famous, however there’s apparently no proof that it was exploited earlier than the corporate was alerted.

Apple did not supply additional remark.

It was the second safety situation Apple reacted to this week — it eliminated a characteristic within the Zoom conferencing app over a flaw that allowed individuals’s webcams to be turned on remotely. And Apple disabled its personal Group FaceTime video chat service in January, after a Fortnite-playing teenager discovered a bug that might flip any iPhone right into a scorching mic.

First printed at 2:07 a.m. PT.
Updated at three a.m. PT: Adds extra element.