Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan has apologised for falling short on security issues, promising to fix them quickly. In a blog post, he said that the use of Zoom had increased in ways he would never have envisaged before the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Eric, Zoom users surpassed the company’s expectations as of February 2020.
“Usage of Zoom has ballooned overnight – far surpassing what we expected when we first announced our desire to help in late February. This includes over 90,000 schools across 20 countries that have taken us up on our offer to help children continue their education remotely.
To put this growth in context, as of the end of December last year, the maximum number of daily meeting participants, both free and paid, conducted on Zoom was approximately 10 million.
In March this year, we reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants, both free and paid. We have been working around the clock to ensure that all of our users – new and old, large and small – can stay in touch and operational,” he said.
He admits that in spite of “working around the clock” to support the influx of new users, Zoom had “fallen short of the community’s – and our own – privacy and security expectations”.
“For that, I am deeply sorry,” he wrote in the blog post he titles A Message to Our Users.
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“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,” He Wrote.
In addition, Yuan explained to readers:
“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.”
Zoom has had to deal with quite a range of privacy concerns. They include sending data to Facebook, wrongly claiming its app had end-to-end encryption and allowing hosts to track meeting attendees.
Ex-NSA (National Security Agency) hacker, Patrick Wardle had identified other issues. He found a flaw that left Mac users vulnerable to having their webcams and microphones hijacked.
The app is also battling a phenomenon called Zoombombing. It is when guests join video conferences uninvited, mostly to make mischief.
Zoombombers find the details of the meetings via links that have been publicly shared or by guessing the meeting ID code. Users can prevent this by password protecting meetings or allowing only the host to screen-share.
How Zoom aims to fix the security issues
Yuam says Zoom has taken steps with the aim of solving the issues. Over the next 90 days it also plans to:
- Freeze the development of new features so as to focus on safety and privacy.
- Conduct security reviews with third-party experts so as to understand the new security features it needs for new customers.
- Prepare a transparency report on data, records or content requests
enhance the bounty program for bugs.
- Launch a partnership with leading CISOs to facilitate an ongoing dialogue regarding security and privacy best practices.
- Hold weekly webinars to provide privacy and security updates
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