Zoom Video Communications, Inc. will be taking steps to handle what is now known as Zoombombing or the act of hacking and disrupting Zoom meetings, said NPR. This came after incidents in which conferences are interrupted by attackers to show abusive images and words against women and minorities. Children have also been exposed to such content.
The video conferencing solution has experienced a boost in usage after the virus pandemic has compelled people to study and work from home in light of the various stay-at-home orders issued throughout the United States.
According to NPR, the company recorded that its usage growth jumped from 10 million per day to a whopping 300 million within months.
However, security and privacy issues have been emerging over the past few months including incidents of Zoombombing which disrupted online classes, government conferences, and work-related meetings.
A report by Fox News revealed that there was a tenfold rise in Zoombombing cases where the attackers post racist and misogynistic images and words. These so-called pranks usually contain “shocking imagery and hateful language” aimed at women and ethnic minorities.
One incident exposed a group of 60 kids to sexually explicit images of abuse directed at children, said Daily Mail. Similar content was shown to participants of a conference organized by a cheese and wine tasting merchant after their meeting was infiltrated by shady parties.
Security researchers said that the company failed to place adequate measures to prevent such issues. According to experts, Zoom did not use end-to-end encryption which could have been enough to guarantee the confidentiality of communications done over the platform.
Authorities have been alerted to such problems. As a response, Zoom made a deal with New York Attorney General Letitia James ensuring that it will take action against hackers doing such atrocious acts. The agreement between Zoom and the office was established to “[put] protections in place so that Zoom users have control over their privacy and security.”
In a statement released by the NY Attorney General office, James said that “while Zoom has provided an invaluable service, it unacceptably did so without critical security protections.”
The deal also compelled Zoom to run a “vulnerability management program,” which can help identify and avoid attempts to infiltrate video conferences. Moreover, users who are suspected of carrying out such activities should now be investigated by the company.
Once found guilty, malicious actors who violated Zoom’s anti-abuse rules will be banned from the platform.