A Strong Suggestion
Last week we told you about the alarming new trend of Zoom-bombing. It seems, however, that those aren’t the only problems with the platform. Following several incidents in Massachusetts, the FBI issued a warning. They encouraged users to keep better security practices when using Zoom.
A report this morning by Business Insider states that the Senate sergeant-at-arms has told Senators to find alternate platforms. It should be noted that this isn’t an outright ban. The sergeant-at-arms is tasked with running law enforcement and security on Capitol Hill.
This suggestion, a strongly emphasized one, comes after the discovery of a slew of faulty security measures on Zoom’s end.
Zoom boasts end-to-end encryption. In layman’s terms, it means only the person sending or receiving the message can read (or see) the data. This prevents virtual eavesdroppers, or even Zoom, from being able to see what you’re sending. But, as we’ve seen, that isn’t entirely true.
Zoom has admitted to “mistakenly” rerouting information through China in an attempt to access more server space. Increased server space is desperately needed by the platform, whose usage rose 1900% since the beginning of January, to keep up with the demand of an at home workforce.
The drastic change in the way Americans are working has left the unprepared platform open to security holes and less than desirable practices. Zoom employs a Company Directory feature that identifies you by your email and groups you in with others in your company to help you find each other easier. However, many Twitter users reported that, despite registering with their personal email addresses, they were still grouped with their co-workers. Additionally, these users were paired with complete strangers who might use the same domain. This left their personal data exposed on the platform.
Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan, was forced to publicly apologize, stating that they were working diligently on fixing the problems caused by the surge in their service’s usage. “We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s — and our own — privacy and security expectations,” Yuan announced via a blog post. “For that, I am deeply sorry.”
As Zoom admits to routing data through China in an attempt at increased server space, some senators are calling for accountability. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) called on the FTC in a Tweet on Tuesday to further investigate Zoom.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that Zoom is taking these security issues seriously. This may be part of the reason why, while the Senate is discouraged from using the platform, the Pentagon is stilling allowing its staff accessibility.
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