Tech giant Apple has shut down its “Walkie Talkie” app on Apple Watches after a security flaw was discovered that allowed strangers to listen in on a user’s iPhone.
Business Insider reports that Silicon Valley tech giant Apple has been forced to shut down its Walkie Talkie app for the Apple Watch as the company patches a bug that allowed strangers to eavesdrop on users via their iPhones. The app is designed to allow two Apple Watch owners to communicate via a push-to-talk system.
Apple did not elaborate on the exact details of the bug, simply stating that it could “allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent.” Apple stated that the bug had been discovered as part of its “report a vulnerability” portal where anyone can report issues in apps.
Apple’s full statement on the issue reads:
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.
A similar flaw was found in Apple’s FaceTime video chat app earlier this year which allowed users to listen in on peoples conversations before picking up a call.