Apple Watch Walkie Talkie App Deactivated due to iPhone Intruding Bug

From the look of the things, the Cupertino giant’s Walkie Talkie app caught up in a new vulnerability. As per the latest report from TechCrunch, the Walkie Talkie App in Apple Watch allows eavesdropping of iPhones without user’s permission. Soon after finding the bug the company deactivated the Walkie Talkie app and also apologized to its customers.

The app isn’t removed but the users won’t be able to use it until a patch is rolled out. The bug fix is being made, however, the exact time of the rollout is still in the dark. Apple’s statement regarding the Walkie Talkie app vulnerability:

We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.

Like all big tech companies, Apple also has a dedicated portal to report vulnerability and get bug bounty award. The iPhone snooping bug is also reported via the privacy vulnerability portal. In the official statement, the Cupertino giant confirmed this, fortunately, the vulnerability isn’t exploited.  We have to admit that disabling the App is the right way to make sure no one can exploit the bug until the fix is rolled out.

FaceTime Fiasco

A few months ago a teen named Grant Thompson found a vulnerability in the FaceTime app. The bug allowed iPhone eavesdropping without the consent of the user. Initially, Apple didn’t respond to the bug founder, later on, a patch was rolled out to resolve the issue. A bug bounty reward was also given to Thompson, however, the exact amount remains unknown. Its good to see this time Apple responded more efficiently and took action swiftly by disabling the app.

Fahad Mushtaq
Fahad Mushtaq is an avid Android developer with over 5 years experience working on Google Cloud AI and Tensor flow in conjunction with BPM line of products.