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Grant Thompson: Apple to pay teenager who discovered FaceTime bug

Chelsea Ritschel

Apple is going to pay the American teenager who discovered a security flaw in the company’s FaceTime system.

Grant Thompson, a 14-year-old from Arizona, found a bug that meant he could listen in to group chats on the video-calling service.

The bug meant an iPhone could be turned into a live microphone while using Group FaceTime, with callers able to activate another person’s microphone remotely even before the person has accepted or rejected the call.

It has not yet been revealed how much the teenager and his family will receive. Apple also plans to give him an additional gift towards his education, reports say.

Grant Thompson and his mother said they tried to contact the company about the problem for more than a week before Apple turned off the group-chat feature.

Apple has since released an iPhone update to fix the FaceTime flaw. The software change became available to install on Thursday as a part of Apple’s iOS 12 system.

The new version includes a message saying it “provides important security updates and is recommended for all users”.

The prviacy bug was not just limited to iPhones. All devices that allow group FaceTime, including iPads and Macs, each have their own software update.