Apple Watch just lost Walkie Talkie app thanks to potential eavesdropping problem

Apple Disables Walkie-Talkie App On Apple Watch; Cites Eavesdropping Vulnerability

Apple disables its walkie-talkie Watch app due to vulnerability

News of the vulnerability was first shared by TechCrunch which explains that Apple was alerted to the problem through its vulnerability reporting portal.

Apple introduced a unique communication feature with watchOS 5 that allowed the Apple Watch to double as a walkie talkie using a dedicated app.

"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", Apple said in a statement.

At the end of the day, although iPhone and Apple Watch users have every reason to be annoyed by these discoveries and the temporary deactivation of the Walkie-Talkie app, the important thing to remember is this particular vulnerability was never exploited (at least to Apple's current knowledge) and the functionality will be restored "as soon as possible". No further details are provided as to how far this invasion of privacy could have gone, but you can probably understand why Apple needed to take such quick, decisive, and extreme action, basically rendering the Walkie-Talkie functionality useless while cooking up a fix.

Apple was made aware of the vulnerability through its security and privacy support page where reports can be filed.

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. The company added that exploiting the Walkie-Talkie app vulnerability requires a very specific set of conditions and sequence of executable steps to let an individual eavesdrop on another user through their iPhone. As said in the statement Apple is working on a fix but the company hasn't clarified by when the app will be back and the issue will be resolved.

Those old enough might recognize the technology from a long-defunct brand of Nokia flip phones that let users push a button to record and send other Nokia users a walkie-talkie style voice snippet.

"We apologise again for this issue and the inconvenience".

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