With watchOS 5, Apple introduced a walkie-talkie feature last fall on the Apple Watch. However, as it turns out, the app for the smartwatch appears to have a serious security hole that could allow other people to overhear conversations.
As the website TechCrunch reports, Apple has now disabled the walkie-talkie app due to this vulnerability. Also, according to the system status website of Apple, the function is currently disabled (as of July 11, 2019). The app can still be found on the Apple Watch, but can no longer connect to other users. The application allowed users to press and release a key to speak, as in a conventional walkie-talkie, and then release it when the other party answers.
For the exact scope and background of the vulnerability Apple made no statements. The company merely stated that the bug allowed the iPhone to be tapped for a contact associated with the walkie-talkie app.
Bugfix not there yet
Apple was alerted to the vulnerability, according to TechCrunch through its own website reporting security or privacy vulnerability. According to the Californians, there is currently no indication that the bug has already been exploited. When a fix for the walkie-talkie app is rolled out on the Apple Watch, is still unclear.
The software bug is reminiscent of another incident that Apple was struggling with earlier this year. At that time, users could be spied on via the FaceTime feature.