The CEO of video conferencing powerhouse Zoom has apologized for the app’s numerous security issues allowing tricksters to derail meetings by “Zoom bombing” as it reaches 200 million daily users. Among other measures, Zoom will devote all its engineering resources to safety and security.
Business Insider reports that the CEO of the video conferencing company Zoom has apologized in a blog post over the various security issues that its 200 million daily users are facing on the platform. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan announced a number of measures that the company is taking to make the app more secure as millions of Americans use the app to work and study from home. Breitbart News covered the criticism of the company over its lack of action on “Zoom bombing” this week.
Zoom’s usage has exploded since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in January as many worldwide are forced to work or attend school from home, using the app for group meetings and online classes. In the blog post, Yuan stated that usage had increased by 1900 percent with 200 million daily free and paying users in March up from 10 million at the end of December.
However, as Breitbart News has reported, the increased usage has also attracted online hackers and trolls. Hijacking zoom meetings to disrupt business and schoolwork has gained the nickname “Zoom bombing” on the Internet.
A release from the Boston FBI Field Office states: “In late March 2020, a Massachusetts-based high school reported that while a teacher was conducting an online class using the teleconferencing software Zoom, an unidentified individual(s) dialed into the classroom. This individual yelled a profanity and then shouted the teacher’s home address in the middle of instruction. A second Massachusetts-based school reported a Zoom meeting being accessed by an unidentified individual.” The statement adds: “In this incident, the individual was visible on the video camera and displayed swastika tattoos.”
Former FBI agent Brad Garrett stated that Zoom has been a target for cybercriminals and malicious actors during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, stating: “Cyber criminals are targeting video conferencing sites like Zoom, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically they create domains that impersonate Zoom, with the goal of stealing personal information.”
Garrett noted that around 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies are using apps such as Zoom to communicate, which cyber-criminals see as an opportunity to steal corporate proprietary information and sensitive employee info. “As more schools and businesses work remotely, this creates an ideal environment for cyber thieves,” Garrett said.
Yuan has apologized for the various security issues that the company is facing, stating: “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. “We now have a much broader set of users who are utilizing our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived.”
Yuan added: “We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s — and our own — privacy and security expectations. For that, I am deeply sorry, and I want to share what we are doing about it.” He then went on to list the safety measures that Zoom is implementing:
Enacting a feature freeze, effectively immediately, and shifting all our engineering resources to focus on our biggest trust, safety, and privacy issues.
Conducting a comprehensive review with third-party experts and representative users to understand and ensure the security of all of our new consumer use cases.
Preparing a transparency report that details information related to requests for data, records, or content.
Enhancing our current bug bounty program.
Launching a CISO council in partnership with leading CISOs from across the industry to facilitate an ongoing dialogue regarding security and privacy best practices.
Engaging a series of simultaneous white box penetration tests to further identify and address issues.
Starting next week, I will host a weekly webinar on Wednesdays at 10am PT to provide privacy and security updates to our community.
Read the full blog post from Yuan here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org