Zoom Now Stops New Features to Improve Security and Privacy


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom’s free and paid users have grown from 10 million in December 2019 to 200 million daily meeting participants in March. As a result, people began to pay attention to the numerous security and privacy issues of the video conferencing software Zoom. Recently, SpaceX has banned employees from using the video conferencing application Zoom to handle major privacy and security issues. SpaceX acknowledges that many of its 6,000 employees have been using Zoom for meetings, but on March 28, it instructed all employees to switch to email, text message or phone instead. NASA also banned employees from using Zoom. This week Zoom was also slammed by The Intercept for allegedly misleading users about the platform’s end-to-end (E2E) encryption.

Researchers also discovered two new security bugs in the Zoom app. The Zoom Windows client was leaking network credentials due to the app rendering UNC file paths as a clickable link in group chat windows. Moreover, the former NSA hacker disclosed a new vulnerability in the macOS Zoom installer, which uses a deprecated and insecure application programming interface in macOS. Responding to these issues, Eric S Yuan, Zoom’s CEO, explained that Zoom was primarily built for enterprise customers with IT support teams. “However, we did not design the product with the foresight that, in a matter of weeks, every person in the world would suddenly be working, studying, and socializing from home”.

The company has now updated its privacy policy, removed the Facebook SDK from its iOS app, attempted to resolve Zoombombing issues, fixed security issues with UNC links, and clarified its place in end-to-end encryption. Over the next 90 days, Zoom is committed to providing the necessary resources to better proactively identify, resolve, and resolve issues. Yuan claimed that Zoom is now stopping all the new feature development and focusing on the safety and privacy issues instead. Additional steps that Zoom is taking include a transparency report and penetration tests:

  • Prepare a transparency report that details information related to requests for data, records, or content.
  • Enhance its current bug-bounty program.
  • Launch a CISO council in partnership with leading CISOs from across the industry to facilitate debate on security and privacy best practices.
  • Engage a series of simultaneous white-box penetration tests to further identify and address issues.
  • Start next week, Yuan will host a weekly webinar on Wednesdays at 10 am PT to provide privacy and security updates to the Zoom Community.

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