Apple releases fix for FaceTime eavesdropping bug, rewards 14yo

Grant Thompson and his mother, Michele, look at an iPhone in the family's kitchen in Tucson, Arizona. Photo / AP

Apple may be giving its customers peace of mind with a newly released fix for its FaceTime security bug, but at least one user is getting something more: money for discovering the vulnerability.
Grant Thompson, a 14-year-old in Arizona, stumbled upon the hack last month when he was calling a friend to play the videogame Fortnite. When his friend didn’t pick up the FaceTime call, he added a second friend to the group call, which caused the original call to “pick up” even though his friend didn’t answer, according to multiple reports.
The security flaw let Thompson eavesdrop on the other line.
And he re-created the hack several times with his friends and his mum to confirm the existence of the bug, he said.

New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards was among those able to replicate the bug.

Now Apple is rewarding him for his discovery. Apple said it would pay the Thompson family for reporting the bug. And it will also make a gift toward Thompson’s education. Apple did not say how much it would give.
Appearing with his mother on CNBC this week, Thompson said he was surprised to find the flaw before Apple did, and he added that he would remain an iPhone user despite the bug. “In general I think that Apple tries to keep our privacy safe, and I respect that,” he said.
He was also asked whether his popularity at school has changed since Apple credited him with discovering and reporting the bug. “Quite a few of my friends know of it and think it’s pretty cool,” he said.
Thompson’s mum, Michele Thompson, said she called and emailed Apple to alert them about the bug days before its existence was widely reported in the news media.
She tried for nine days. At one point, she was told she needed to register as a software developer before she could file a bug report.

Author: Admin

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