Zoom Backlash Is Not Understood by Zoom: Is There Something that Zoom Doesn’t Understanding

Zoom Backlash Is Not Understood by Zoom

Just when one round of criticism of the technology industry was about to wind down — or at least take a breather — another set of concerns arose. When COVID-19 drove tens of millions of Americans — and the majority of Silicon Valley — to start working, learning, and socialising at home, the once-obscure firm Zoom rose to prominence.

Like many others, I now spend a significant portion of my waking hours on Zoom. However, with all this extra usage comes increased scrutiny, and in the first few weeks of the Great Social Distancing, Zoom has consistently fallen short.

The Zoombombings were the inaugural issue. Even if I wasn’t the first to be affected by this, I was definitely a victim. Some trolls kept stopping by after my friend Hunter and I launched a virtual happy hour a few weeks ago and we tweeted the links.

There are still a lot of Zoombombings going on, despite our efforts. The New York attorney general’s office and the FBI are both looking into the matter. There is a tangle of settings hiding behind Zoom’s default option, which allows callers to share their displays by default.

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Zoom Backlash Is Not Understood by Zoom

In addition, Zoom began generating directories of every email address that signed up for a call and then allowed strangers to begin scheduling video conversations with one other. Intracompany chats could benefit from this function, but broadcasts would be better served by disabling it. Vice’s Joseph Cox reported on this:

Unfortunately, this issue arises because of Zoom’s “Company Directory” setting, which adds contacts from other users whose email addresses share the same domain. When a domain belongs to a single organisation, it is much easier to locate a specific colleague to call.

Several Zoom customers, however, claim that they signed up using personal email accounts and that Zoom combined them with thousands of other people as if they were all employed by the same company, exposing their private information to one another.

What astonished me was this!” As a result of signing up under an alias, I was able to view the profiles of 995 people I had no idea existed. According to an email from Zoom user Barend Gehrels, Motherboard has been notified of an issue with the service.

When Zoom went around saying that its platform was “end to end encrypted,” it had redefined “end to end encryption” without anyone’s knowledge, which was the third problem. The Intercept’s Micah Lee and Yael Grauer broke the news:

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According to Zoom’s website, its security white paper, and the user interface within the programme, the meeting is safe with end-to-end encryption if everyone in the meeting connects using “computer audio” instead of phoning in on a phone.

Despite the service’s deceptive advertising, it does not provide end-to-end video and audio encryption, at least not in the way that the term is generally understood. Transport encryption is the term used to describe what it does instead. […]

Zoom protects meetings with TLS encryption, the same method web servers employ to keep HTTPS websites safe. To put it another way, this implies that the connection between your web browser and this article (on https://theintercept.com) is encrypted, much like the connection between your web browser and Zoom’s server.

Unlike end-to-end encryption, transport encryption allows the Zoom service to view the unencrypted video and audio material of Zoom sessions. The video and audio content of a Zoom meeting is safe from anyone monitoring your Wi-Fi, but it isn’t safe from your employer. This data isn’t mined or sold by Zoom (which said as much in a statement).

There are further issues. Because Zoom evades MacOS administrator controls, you don’t have to seek your supervisor for permission before installing it. If you want to steal someone’s Windows credentials using Zoom, you can do so simply by sharing a link to their account.

Zoom Backlash Is Not Understood by Zoom

The list was completed on Wednesday when a security researcher discovered two more ways to exploit Zoom and published details of them on his blog.

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All of this has had you wondering what Zoom has to say about it. David Pierce interviews Zoom’s chief marketing officer, Janine Pelosi, over at Protocol about the last two weeks. he explains:

“The product wasn’t created for consumers, yet a lot of people are using it,” Zoom CMO Janine Pelosi told me. As a result, Zoom has had to reevaluate several aspects of the platform, but none more so than the platform’s default privacy settings.

This appears to be a reasonable proposal on the surface. In the wake of the widespread adoption of Zoom outside of the workplace, new security concerns have arisen. The above-mentioned issues all point to one conclusion: in order to create a popular video chat app, it is necessary to make it exceedingly simple to use.

Make it a consumer app, in other words.

Until recently, the tools you used at work were determined by your employer. That was the case until the 1990s. They paid for your computer, Microsoft Office licence, and any other esoteric and generally awful-to-use software you required to complete your job.

That all changed when consumers were able to use whatever apps they wanted on their mobile phones. Google Docs, Box, Dropbox, and Evernote were early adopters in this new class of productivity tools that put an emphasis on design and ease of use.

Trello, Asana, and Slack followed shortly thereafter. This was a tool for the workplace, but it was also created for consumers. That’s how they did it.

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