Apple Watch eavesdropping vulnerability forces Apple to disable Walkie-Talkie app

Apple Watch with rainbow strap

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch after a vulnerability that potentially allows for eavesdropping on iPhone conversations emerged.

The company says that it is not aware of any incidents of the vulnerability being exploited, and it has not shared any details of the security issue. Apple's short-term solution is to simply disable the app while it works on a fix.

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News of the vulnerability was first shared by TechCrunch which explains that Apple was alerted to the problem through its vulnerability reporting portal. The company is clearly taking the matter seriously, and this could be because of an eavesdropping bug that was discovered in FaceTime last year.

In a statement about disabling the app, Apple explains:

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.

Image credit: Shachima / Shutterstock

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