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Apple Facetime Bug Discovered by 14-Year-Old

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Apple’s FaceTime bug was detected recently, which allowed almost anyone to turn an iPhone into a live microphone, and this was found out by a 14-year-old boy who stumbled upon this eavesdropping flaw a week before Apple took action.

Grant Thompson, a high school freshman in Tucson, Arizona said- “I’m only 14 and I found it just by accident, instead of this, people at Apple should find out, since they get paid to find such technical glitches.

The bug allowed callers to activate the other person’s microphone remotely even before the person would accept or reject the call.

Thompson said- “It took nine days for them to respond to us. My mom contacted them every single day through email, calling, faxing. I’m not even sure what fax is. I guess it is older than me.”

New York state officials opened a consumer rights investigation and many others have been raising questions regarding why Apple took so long to address the bug.

On Friday, in a statement, Apple thanked the Thompsons and announced that a fix has been identified and would be released by the next week.  

Grant is a straight-A student and plays basketball, does community volunteering and enjoys the video game “Fortnite” He tried calling friends to play the game on a Saturday night on Jan. 19, and he discovered the flaw.

Chris Wysopal, the chief technology officer with the security firm Veracode said- “If a 14-year-old kid has discovered it, I wonder how many other people would have found out about it.”

Apple didn’t acknowledge the delay and told that they have always been committed to improving the process in which reports are received and escalated so that they get to the right people as fast as possible.

On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that they would investigate “Apple’s failure of warning consumers regarding the FaceTime bug and slow response in addressing the issue. A thorough investigation will be done regarding Apple’s response.”

In Grant’s case, he just got his Xbox ready and called to invite a friend, Nathan, to join him in playing “Fortnite” online.

He said- “You can swipe up and add other people, and when I added another friend of mine, Diego, to see if he also wished to play with us, it forced Nathan to respond as well. We were shocked at first and tried to repeat it and it happened every time.”

His mother, Michele Thompson, stated that she tried reaching out to Apple since the next day.

She works as an attorney and said- “They could have just tested it within two minutes, and realized it was true and brought it up to the respective people at Apple. There needs to be a better process for the average people to report stuff like this and get a better and timely response. I was told to reach out and register it as a software bug, and such reports can lead to “bug bounties”, financial rewards which are given when flaws are discovered. Every day my son would ask me, ‘Did we hear from Apple yet?’ We left comments on Twitter, and one of them was direct to the CEO Tim Cook, and we uploaded a video to show the engineers at Apple regarding the problem. Only after a tech blog reported the flaw they realized it.

Grant said- “It would be cool if Apple could thank me. And of course, the bug bounty would be pretty awesome to get, but we wish to get rid of this groundbreaking bug.

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