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Zoom agrees to step up security after New York probe

/ 06:38 PM May 10, 2020
Zoom

The Zoom video meeting and chat app has become the wildly popular host to millions of people working and studying from home during the coronavirus outbreak. Image: AFP/Olivier Douliery

New York state’s top prosecutor on Thursday announced that the company Zoom would improve security measures, after flaws were detected as the video conferencing platform soared in popularity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The agreement wraps an investigation launched in March by New York Attorney General Letitia James into vulnerabilities in the California-based company’s software.

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In a statement, James said Zoom would institute new security measures for the millions of users using the platform, including enhanced privacy controls.

The company also agreed to conduct regular risk assessment and software code reviews to detect vulnerabilities.

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The number of daily video meetings on Zoom skyrocketed from 10 million in January to more than 300 million at the end of April.

But a “Zoom-bombing” phenomenon sparked warnings about lax security, as virtual intruders interrupted religious ceremonies, remote classes and other Zoom gatherings.

In some cases, pornographic images popped up.

James said Zoom would take steps to prevent those breaches as well as end its user data-sharing partnership with Facebook.

The platform is to improve privacy controls for free accounts — users avoid a monthly fee for meetings 40 minutes and under — along with education accounts for K-12 students.

All hosts will now be able to control access to conferences with a required password for those attempting to access a meeting.

“Our lives have inexorably changed over the past two months, and while Zoom has provided an invaluable service, it unacceptably did so without critical security protections,” James said in the statement.

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“This agreement puts protections in place so that Zoom users have control over their privacy and security.” RGA

RELATED STORIES: 

Zoom under scrutiny in US over privacy, porn hacks

Singapore stops Zoom for online education as hackers strike

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TOPICS: coronavirus, Cyber security, New York, video conference, ZOOM
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