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Apple Facetime flings out frightening random calls

No, I did not order a wake-up for 2am

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Apple's FaceTime application has been fingered for randomly placing calls, identified as coming from friends and causing more than a little concern when the call fails to connect.

The calls are reportedly happening at roughly the same time first thing this morning - waking up Brits around 2.30 in the morning by all accounts - and while the call claims to come from a known contact, it never connects.

This has worried more than a few users who've found they can't call back, and end up venturing out to see if everything is OK. Some are relating their tales of woe on this Apple site thread.

"Son's phone just phoned me in uk on FaceTime 2.30am," one user posted. "Couldn't connect. Drove to his house like a lunatic in case something wrong. Woke him and neighbours! Son's phone turned off in his bag!"

FaceTime use is unrelated to the telecommunications part of the phone, relying instead on Wi-Fi and internet connectivity. That makes Apple the company handing the calls, and presumably it is Apple's servers which are responsible for false notifications.

Some of the calls claim to originate from a desktop machine, while others seem to come from another iPhone. But the result is the same, as another poster explains:

"Girlfriend got a Facetime call at 2:30am from my mac but I was in bed with her 16 miles away at her house. When trying to answer there was nothing, I panicked thinking someone was in my house or hacking into my computer that I ended up driving back in the ice and -9c to find out my computer wasn't even on!!"

Quite what this poster expected to achieve on arrival at his sub-zero house we're not clear, but one isn't always thinking most clearly when so rudely awoken.

Met with Apple's characteristic silence on the problem, users are left to piece together evidence based on their own experiences - are the phantom calls repetitions of the last FaceTime call made, or the first contact in the address book? Running a telecommunications network is tough, and users expect very high levels of reliability, as Apple is discovering.

We asked Apple if they could explain the apparent calls. We haven't heard back from them so far - but it's not 2.30am yet. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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