Apple disables Walkie Talkie app to address eavesdropping vulnerability

watchOS's new Walkie Takie app

Apple says it has temporarily disabled the Apple Watch’s Walkie Talkie functionality while it addresses a recently discovered vulnerability within the app.

In a statement issued to TechCrunch, Apple said a bug, which was recently brought to the company’s attention, allows malicious individuals to listen to another person’s iPhone without their consent. The Walkie Talkie app, like its namesake suggests, allows two Apple Watch users to communicate with one another using a push-to-talk interface.

Apple plans to re-enable the feature once it has developed and issued a software update to address the exploit.

“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,” said Apple, as part of a longer statement.

The company added that there’s no evidence to suggest someone took advantage of the vulnerability.

Today is not the first time Apple has had to disable one of its communication features to address a potential exploit.

Earlier in the year, the company turned off FaceTime after a teen discovered it was possible to eavesdrop on another iPhone owner in group calling scenarios. The episode led to a public embarrassment after Apple initially ignored attempts by the teen’s mother to contact the company. This time around, it looks like Apple is taking a much more proactive approach.

Source: TechCrunch