Apple disables Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch due to vulnerability

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch, because of a vulnerability that lets users eavesdrop on other people’s iPhones.

Apple said “specific conditions and sequences of events” would be required to exploit the bug.

The Walkie-Talkie app is like using a real walkie-talkie, press a button to talk, and release to listen when you’re ready for them to reply. Walkie-Talkie requires that both participants have connectivity—through a Bluetooth connection to the iPhone, Wi-Fi, or cellular.

In a statement to TechCrunch Apple said:

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.

They are issuing a software update to fix the flaw.

Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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