I came across a rather horrifying news a few days ago. The news said that over 500 Million Zoom Accounts were for sale on the notorious Dark Web. The news is nothing if not terrifying altogether. 500 Million accounts! And almost 80% of these accounts are made for professional usage. You can imagine how much danger it puts these account holders into. Their most sensitive information can be misused if it gets into the wrong hands.
What exactly is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing and online meeting software tool. It allows you to connect to your company’s members and have remote meetings. Amid the current crisis, when the world went into lockdown, Zoom, out of nowhere, came out to be the first contender to provide remote video conferencing for professionals. It immediately gained popularity and through some word of mouth marketing, everybody started using it.
However, no long ago, some users started reporting data breaches and privacy invasions. Some of them reported their accounts being hacked, while many reported people taking hold of their videos and sending offensive pictures to them and the recipients. While it is usual to have the hackers try to invade privacy whenever there is a trending software, the providers usually counter the attempts by implementing reinforced cybersecurity. However, in this case, it seems that Zoom hasn’t done much for the security of its users. Due to this lack of security, many professionals have abandoned Zoom.
What issues are we looking at?
Zoom basically boasts using the E2EE level of encryption to secure the user data. However, it is just partially true. While the end-to-end encryption sure is there for the data being transferred between users, it does not encrypt the endpoints. It means that the users’ data is still prone to theft at the endpoints.
Also, Zoom is said to be generating its encryption keys in China. Now if you have been following the news lately, you’ll already know that China is infamous for its strict surveillance and monitoring. It means that Zoom servers could be monitored by the Government. If that’s the case, no matter where you are using Zoom from, your data can still be tracked and recorded in China.
Multiple Hacking attempts:
As soon as Zoom gained popularity, the hackers became hyperactive and initiated cyber attacks on Zoom. As the software had weak encryption and poor security, the hackers were able to breach millions of accounts and label it “for sale” on the dark web.
If you have read George Orwell’s novel “1984” you’d remember the antagonist “Big brother” keeping an eye on everyone who worked for him (and even those who don’t) by using advanced tech. Same is the case today with Zoom being the advanced tech and your employers being the “Big Brother” They can use Zoom to keep an eye on you which is a severe breach of your privacy.
Zoom collects lots of data from its users. From messages and account details to audio recordings, it records this data and hands it over to giants like Facebook, Linkedin, and Google for advertising purposes.
What’s more atrocious is that Zoom doesn’t even notify its users about the data it collects and sends to these third party sources.
Let’s try to make Zoom safer:
- Don’t send or accept innovations to or from people out of your network.
- Double-check before downloading if you’re on the official website of Zoom.
- Choose a unique and strong password to protect your meetings.
- Use the waiting room function.
- Don’t overshare information.
- Don’t share critical or sensitive information.
- Don’t share personal pictures.
- Use a VPN to encrypt your data traffic on the internet.