It is the most popular application in the world today: Zoom, video conferencing software highly prized by confined persons for organizing work meetings or virtual aperitifs. As a result, since the start of the coronavirus crisis, Zoom has grown from 10 to 200 million users, 20 times more! Except that this very rapid growth comes with its share of controversies on security and data protection. Overwhelmed for the first few weeks, Zoom is now trying to regain control and reassure users.
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The "Zoom bombing", disturbing diversions
In just one week, the problems multiplied for Zoom. Already the target of hackers, the application has faced a very worrying phenomenon: "Zoom bombing". For several days, thanks to a security flaw that made poorly configured videoconference access codes public, Internet users were able to hack working meetings or live lessons, some taking advantage of this to distribute pornographic images or incitement to hatred. A flaw that resulted in Zoom being banned from many schools in the United States.
Today, this major confidentiality problem has been resolved, says Zoom France President Loïc Rousseau, joined by Europe 1. "Up to now, a link was enough to connect to a videoconference. We have added a word password, which was not previously required, to secure the entry of participants into the meeting, "he said. "We have also set up by default a 'waiting room' in which the organizer sees who wants to enter the conference. From there, he can select who enters or not. Finally, once the meeting has started, you have the possibility to lock it so that no one else can access it. "
"Zoom bombing" to laugh
If some have exploited the vulnerabilities of Zoom for malicious purposes, others have chosen to play with them, like the humorist Malik Bentalha. After discovering this flaw, he obtained access codes to videoconference courses to sneak among the students.
You have delighted me, thank you !!!
I hope that my interventions will be valid for continuous monitoring
Sometimes waiting for the professor to notice him or distinguishing himself with absurd questions, Malik Bentalha made many students laugh. His videos were subsequently widely relayed on social networks.
Stricter default settings
In addition to the "bombing", Zoom multiplies the fixes to improve the security of the software. He was indeed criticized for other significant problems, starting with the encryption of conversations, deemed too light by cybersecurity specialists. It has therefore been raised a notch to correspond to the minimum recommended standard. Likewise, encryption data no longer travels through China, a route deemed risky by defenders of personal data protection.
"We take safety very seriously. We have been in good standing with the GDPR since its implementation in 2018", argues Loïc Rousseau. "There are flaws, it's true. We have a focus on the next three months to improve Zoom's security and make all of this as transparent as possible. He is truly our workhorse," insists the boss of Zoom France, which adds that the software is used in its professional version by "global companies, CAC 40" and therefore meets their security standards.
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Well aware, however, that among the mass of new users, many are not used to this kind of somewhat technical application to use, Zoom has decided to change the paradigm: now, the privacy settings are set by default on the the strictest criteria.