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22 May 2020  (651 Views) 
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Is Zoom secure
I used Zoom for online talks. Someone asked me - is Zoom secure?

I like to give my views.

We need to identify what is the risk of using Zoom. 

Recently, there were some recent reports that hackers were able to enter a Zoom conference, used by teachers with students, and upload obscene material to be viewed by other participants.

This could be prevented by the teacher, who is the host, controlling the user who are allowed to enter the teleconference and who are allowed to share their screen.

The host has the ability admit only the authorized users, i.e. the students, and to control who is able to share the screen. 

This requires the control to be exercised by the host. It can be quite troublesome. But Zoom does provide the features to prevent the abuse by hackers. 

If the host does not wish to implement these measures, it will open the way for abuse. The host has to balance security with convenience. If the risk is real and critical, the host will have to prevent the abuse, even though it may take some control. If not, the host may accept the risk and deal with the abuse when it arises. 

If any user abuse the platform, the host can remove the user and prevent that user from re-entering the platform. The host can also disallow all users from sharing the screen, unless it is authorized by the host.

The risk of hacking and abuse applies to all teleconference platforms, and is not unique to Zoom. The hackers attacked Zoom first, because it is the most popular platform. They have now moved to attack the other platforms. These platforms are also vulnerable to the attacks by the hackers.

There is another aspect of security. Do the hackers access the user data that is stored in the Zoom platform? 

The answer is - No. The Zoom platform does not require the user to give their data. They can login to Zoom with a link or by entering the meeting ID and password. 

There are some data that is stored by the host in communicating with the regular users. This is only the name and email address. This risk applies to all platforms and websites, and is not unique to Zoom. There is no report of any special vulnerability by the Zoom platform.

My conclusion - the bad reports about security flaws in Zoom is overblown. 

Tan Kin Lian

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