Apple shuts down its Walkie Talkie app after mysterious security flaw allowed people to listen in to your iPhone

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  • Apple has temporarily shut down the Walkie Talkie app on Apple Watches after finding a bug which would allow someone to eavesdrop on another person via their iPhone.
  • Apple gave little detail about the nature of the vulnerability, but said it had found no evidence the flaw was exploited by anyone prior to its discovery.
  • Earlier this year, an embarrassing bug was found in Apple's FaceTime video chat app which allowed people to listen in on others before they'd even picked up a call.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Apple has had to shut down its Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app while it patches up a bug that could enable someone to eavesdrop on users via their iPhones.

The Walkie Talkie app allows two people with Apple watches to add each other, then enter a voice chat via a touch-and-hold system.

Apple gave little detail about the nature of the app's bug, but said it could "allow someone to listen through another customer's iPhone without consent."

Read more: A flaw in video conferencing tool Zoom is leaving Apple Mac users' webcams vulnerable to being hijacked

Apple told TechCrunch on Thursday that it had taken down the app after being alerted to the security flaw via its "report a vulnerability" portal.

The company said it had found no evidence that the vulnerability had been exploited, and apologized for the inconvenience to customers. When contacted by Business Insider for further details, Apple referred us to the statement given to TechCrunch.

Here is Apple's statement in full:

"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."

It comes three days after a researcher revealed a vulnerability on video-conferencing service Zoom's Mac app, which left users vulnerable to having their webcams remotely activated.

Zoom said it began rolling out a patch the next day, but Apple also quietly pushed out an update, removing hidden web servers placed on users' devices by Zoom which were at the root of the flaw.

Earlier this year, a flaw in Apple's FaceTime video chat app was found, which would allow people to listen in on people before picking up a call.

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