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The issues were exacerbated by Zoom’s widespread adoption at the start of the pandemic, but this was just the latest chapter in the software’s rocky security history. It prompted Zoom CEO Eric Yuan to respond to concerns in April , freezing feature updates to address security issues over a day update rollout. Zoom saw explosive growth at the time, increasing its ranks from 2, to 6, employees from February to December By the end of Zoom’s hiring boom, the software had become the first video communications client to attain Common Criteria certification, an international cybersecurity standard awarded after rigorous analysis.
Though Zoom has added these and other security features like end-to-end encryption , there are still a few things you should watch out for to keep your chats as private as possible. For paid subscribers, Zoom’s cloud recording feature can either be a life-saver or a catastrophic faux pas waiting to happen.
If the feature is enabled on the account, a host can record the meeting along with its text transcription and a text file of any active chats in that meeting, and save it to the cloud where it can later be accessed by other authorized users at your company, including people who may have never attended the meeting in question. Zoom does allow a narrowing of the audience here, however. Administrators can limit the recording’s accessibility to only certain preapproved IP addresses, even if the recording has already been shared.
Participants can also see when a meeting is being recorded. But wait! Before you move on to another blog on our site, there is much more to the answer than a simple yes. Let me explain. The first question you should ask is what do you do? Are you in the arms manufacturing business for a special government unit? Are you discussing National Security Topics or extremely sensitive data that, if intercepted, could actually impact the country’s security?
You get the point. If your topic of discussion is extremely sensitive and you don’t want any interception then you should NOT be using Zoom.
As a matter of fact, you should not be using any web conferencing solutions available. We may write another blog for suitable alternatives. Don’t forget, most modern ‘smart’ devices are listening to your every word and in the case of Samsung, for example, they were absolutely open about it.
Zoom, the video conference app most people know and use since the coronavirus outbreak, has been plagued with security issues. Today, we’re going to take a hard look at those issues and see what else you can use instead.
Although Zoom is well known and used by many, it’s surely not the only video conferencing app. It would be best if you thought twice about sticking with Zoom for the following reasons. You might be surprised by Zoom’s data collection policies if you haven’t taken the time to review them.
They collect and share email addresses, as well as information uploaded during video conferences and chats. Crucially, that includes using third-party trackers and surveillance-based advertising — which if not selling your data is certainly sharing it.
Zoom has been hurriedly addressing the myriad security flaws that have been unearthed in recent weeks, which is perhaps a sign that its developers were, at best, careless. Unfortunately, the suddenness with which employees were requested to work from home meant that organisations needed quick solutions. Zoom has taken accountability for many of its security and privacy failings, which is always a positive step.
Likewise, it has implemented several controls to improve its security posture, such as password-protecting meetings by default and adding a waiting room feature, which allows the host to select who can enter a meeting. The company apologized for the actions in a blog post June 11 opens in new tab and said it would develop a way to block meeting participants from certain locations i. That wasn’t enough to satisfy more than a dozen U. Yuan demanding to know how cozy his company was with the Beijing government.
Talos opens in new tab , an information-security research firm owned by Cisco, revealed June 3 that it had found two serious flaws in Zoom client applications, both of which have now been patched. The first flaw opens in new tab would have let an attacker use a specially created animated GIF placed in a Zoom meeting chat to hack Zoom client software on other people’s machines to force the installation of malware, or, as Talos put it, “achieve arbitrary code execution.
The second flaw opens in new tab also involves the chat function in Zoom meeting client software, with similarly serious potential consequences. The problem was that Zoom did not validate the contents of shared compressed files such as. An attacker could have sent malware in the form of a compressed file to a user via Zoom meeting chat, and the user’s Zoom client would have saved and opened the malware within the Zoom application’s directory.
Even worse, if the user were to save the Zoom compressed file elsewhere on the PC, such as on the desktop, then the attacked could send an altered version of the first file with the same name. Zoom would open the second version but not the first automatically, permitting the malware to “plant binaries at almost arbitrary paths and Zoom’s upcoming end-to-end encryption is mainly for paid users, as Zoom itself stated back on May 7.
But Alex Stamos, a well-known information-security expert who is consulting Zoom on security matters, told Reuters opens in new tab last week that schools and other non-profit enterprises might be able to also get the end-to-end encryption for their accounts. All administrators of Zoom Rooms need to update their software opens in new tab by May 30, Zoom said in a blog posting May The update to Zoom 5.
More information about updating Zoom Rooms is here opens in new tab. The 5. Two more instances of corrupted Zoom installers were found by Trend Micro researchers. The first opens up a backdoor on a PC; the second spies on the PC’s owner with screenshots, keylogging and webcam hijacking and drafts the PC into the Devil Shadow botnet. Both installers do install the Zoom software client, so victims may be none the wiser. As always, get your Zoom software straight from the Zoom website at Zoom. Zoom suffered an unexplained outage Sunday, May 17, rendering it unavailable to thousands of users in the U.
The outage, which began Sunday morning U. Even the British government’s daily coronavirus briefing opens in new tab was affected, knocking out the ability of journalists to ask questions over Zoom.
Some users reported on Twitter that logging out of Zoom accounts, then logging back in, seemed to solve the issue. Zoom’s status page noted that a backend update had taken place earlier Sunday morning, but there didn’t seem to be any linkage between that update and the outage that began a few hours later.
The Zoom status page opens in new tab said at the time that the outages “appear to be limited to a subset of users” and that Zoom was “working to identify the root cause and scope of this issue. Cybercriminals may have registered hundreds of new Zoom-related website addresses in the past few weeks, according to researchers at Israeli security firm Check Point opens in new tab. Many of these sites are being used in phishing attacks to grab victims’ Zoom usernames and passwords, and similar scams are leveraging rival video-conferencing platforms such as Google Meet and Microsoft Teams.
Over the weekend, online vandals hijacked the graduation ceremony at Oklahoma City University opens in new tab , replacing the Zoom video feed with racist language and symbols. It wasn’t immediately clear whether this was a result of regular Zoom-bombing or if the attackers used less well-known methods to disrupt the video feed.
Zoom announced May 7 opens in new tab that due to its technical-support staff being overwhelmed with calls, it would be able to give personal technical assistance only to “owners and administrators” of paid accounts. In other words, any user, owner or administrator of a free Zoom account, and end users of paid accounts, won’t be entitled to human help.
Instead, they’ll have to rely on the FAQs and how-to’s list on the Zoom online resources opens in new tab page. For now, this provision applies only to May and June If the coronavirus lockdown last longer than that, Zoom may have to hire more tech-support staffers. New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ office reached an agreement with Zoom opens in new tab May 7 following an investigation into Zoom’s security and privacy practices.
There isn’t a lot of new stuff in the agreement. Most of the stipulations Zoom agreed to are things the company is already doing, including making passwords mandatory and using better encryption. In the long term, Zoom has to conduct regular code reviews and conduct yearly penetration-testing exercises, in which paid hackers try to break through the company’s defenses.
Only two new things will directly affect consumers. It also has to update its Acceptable Use policies to ban “abusive conduct include hatred against others based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation.
Frankly, these are longstanding standard policies at many other online companies, so we’re a little surprised that they weren’t already Zoom policies. Yuan announced opens in new tab. The purchase price or other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Keybase makes user-friendly software to easily and securely encrypt messaging and social media posts. In March, Zoom had to admit that its touted “end-to-end” encryption was not the real thing because Zoom’s own servers are always able to access the contents of meetings.
Once Keybase’s technology is incorporated, that will no longer always be the case. Meeting passwords and waiting rooms will be required by default for all Zoom meetings, free or paid, beginning May 9, Zoom announced. Only hosts will be able to share their screens by default, but like the other settings, that can be changed.
Yuan said the massive increase in Zoom usage since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown had been “challenging,” but also provided “opportunities for us to drive meaningful change and improvement.
Yuan admitted that “we failed to set pre-configured security features for our new customers, especially for schools,” referring to meeting passwords and waiting rooms. That resulted in “uninvited, offensive, and sometimes even truly evil people disrupting meetings,” Yuan wrote. Such a person disrupted a Zoom meeting on sexual violence opens in new tab in the Bay Area last week.
Yuan also addressed rumors about his own, and Zoom’s, ties to China. He said he had lived in the U. A reporter for London’s Financial Times resigned after he was caught crashing internal Zoom meetings at rival London newspapers. Mark Di Stefano announced his resignation on Twitter opens in new tab after The Independent opens in new tab documented how Di Stefano had last week joined an Independent staff meeting regarding pay cuts and furloughs, first under his own name, then anonymously.
Di Stefano cited his sources as “people on the call,” The Independent said. The Independent also found that Di Stefano’s cellphone had earlier been used to access a Zoom meeting at the Evening Standard, another London newspaper. That meeting was followed by a Financial Times piece about Evening Standard furloughs and pay cuts.
Zoom isn’t the only video-conferencing platform to have questionable privacy policies, Consumer Reports opens in new tab said in a blog post: Cisco Webex, Microsoft’s Teams and Skype, and Google’s Duo, Meet and Hangouts do too. Consumer Reports said you should know that everything in a video meeting may be recorded, either by the host or another participant. It also recommended dialing into video-conference meetings over the phone, not creating accounts with the services if possible, and using “burner” email addresses otherwise.
After prodding from reporters at The Verge opens in new tab , Zoom admitted that it did not in fact have a recent peak of million daily users, as stated in a blog post last week. Rather, Zoom had a peak of million daily “participants. Researchers at Trend Micro spotted another Zoom installer file that had been corrupted with malware.
In this case, it’s spyware that can turn on the webcam, take screenshots and log keystrkes, as well as collecting diagnostic data about the system it’s running on. It also installs a fully working version of the Zoom desktop client. You don’t need to install any software on your desktop to run Zoom.
Zoom is a prime target for foreign spies, especially Chinese intelligence operatives, the Department of Homeland Security has warned U. Foreign spies would be interested in any internet-based communications medium that saw such a steep increase in growth. But the DHS report singled out China as a likely meddler in Zoom security because Zoom has a substantial number of staffers in that country.
However, Zoom in the past week has given paid meeting hosts the option of avoiding Zoom servers in specific regions, including China and North America.
Unpaid Zoom hosts will by default use only servers in their home regions. A new report from Mozilla , the non-profit maker of the Firefox web browser, says that Zoom’s privacy and security policies and practices are better than those of Apple FaceTime. FaceTime got only 4.
A new Zoom phishing scam is sure to get the attention of anyone working from home during the coronavirus lockdown. It seems to come from your employer’s HR department, and invites you to join a Zoom meeting starting in a few minutes to discuss possible termination of your employment.
If you click on the link in the email to join the meeting, you’re taken to a very real-looking Zoom login page. It’s fake. If you enter your credentials, then the crooks can take over your Zoom account. Zoom has finally updated its meeting-client software to version 5. Here’s our guide on how to update to Zoom 5.
The update is not yet available for iOS, as Apple has to vet the software before the new version of the app can be pushed out. We also couldn’t see in the Google Play app store as of Monday afternoon Eastern time April 27 , but odds are it will appear soon. No other company may have benefited more from the stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus crisis.
To put that in perspective, daily usage peaked at million people per day in March, the company said on April 1 opens in new tab. In December , Zoom usage peaked at 10 million daily users.
Zoom security issues: What’s gone wrong and what’s been fixed | Tom’s Guide.Zoom security issues: What’s gone wrong and what’s been fixed | Tom’s Guide
The best way to avoid Zoom bombing is to not share Zoom meeting numbers with anyone but the intended participants.