Apple disables Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch over eavesdrop vulnerability

The vulnerability in Walkie-Talkie app could allow someone to listen through another user’s iPhone without consent.

| Updated on: Jul 11 2019, 17:21 IST
Apple disables Walkie Talkie app
Apple disables Walkie Talkie app (Apple)
Apple disables Walkie Talkie app
Apple disables Walkie Talkie app (Apple)

Apple has disabled its new Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch after it found a serious vulnerability. The company said the exploit could have allowed hackers to eavesdrop on through another user's iPhone without consent.

Apple did not explain how the vulnerability works but pointed out that the disabling the application was "the right course of action." The company added that so far there was no evidence of the vulnerability exploited by cyber criminals. Apple said the app will remain dormant on users' Apple Watches until it's fixed.

"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," Apple said in a statement to TechCrunch.

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"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."

The Walkie-Talkie app was the star feature of Apple's watchOS 5, unveiled at its WWDC developer conference last year. The feature is said to be like a real-time FaceTime audio call but with a push-to-talk button. Apple's Walkie-Talkie app works with compatible Apple Watches around the world.

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First Published Date: 11 Jul, 17:19 IST