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Zoom has patched three serious flaws in some of its enterprise video-conferencing software, the worst of which could have let an attacker penetrate a company’s internal server system.
The following enterprise Zoom applications are vulnerable and must be updated, per a report from Positive Technologies opens in new tab : Meeting Connector Controller up to version 4. Regarding consumer software, Zoom has fixed a security flaw in Zoom Client for Meetings for Windows, which needs to be updated to version 5. That’s according to the Zoom Security Bulletin opens in new tab page. Zoom announced that beginning Nov.
Anyone running software older than that will be prompted to update their software. This affects all Zoom software running on all supported platforms except for Zoom Room Controller software, at least for now. Zoom disclosed several security issues opens in new tab that had been fixed in later versions of Zoom’s desktop clients and plug-ins for Microsoft Outlook for both Windows and macOS. The flaws ranged in severity from low to high, with some allowing remote code execution — i.
All were patched by at least Zoom Client for Meetings 5. Zoom announced that it planned to roll out end-to-end encryption opens in new tab to Zoom Phone opens in new tab , its paid cloud calling service for Pro, Business or Enterprise accounts. The end-to-end encryption will be an option for one-to-one Zoom Phone calls. Zoom announced via its Zoom Security Bulletin opens in new tab that the remote-hacking flaw demonstrated at the Pwn2Own competition in April had been fixed.
Zoom reached a tentative settlement in a federal class-action lawsuit that alleged the company skimped on security, misled users and shared user personal data with third parties without notification or consent. Enterprise and government Zoom account holders are not part of this litigation. Known class members will be notified by email or regular mail that they can file a claim, and others will be able to use the website www.
You can read the full updated Zoom privacy “statement” here opens in new tab. In a blog post, Zoom announced that it had added privacy notifications opens in new tab to the latest version of its desktop client software.
The notifications appear in the in-meeting chat window as a button labeled “Who can see your messages? It added that future updates would include notifications when a meeting host or participant uses a Zoom transcription or scheduling app during a meeting.
Two researchers demonstrated at the Pwn2Own contest that they could remotely take over Windows PCs and Macs by using at least one previously unknown vulnerability in the Zoom desktop application. Fortunately, the only people who fully understand how this exploit works are the two researchers and Zoom itself, which is working on a fix.
The chances of this attack being used “in the wild” are low, but if you’re concerned, use the Zoom browser interface instead during meetings until this is fixed. Zoom lets meeting participants share all of their computer screens, part of their screens, or just specific application windows with other people in the same meeting. Two German researchers discovered that for a brief moment, the entire screen may be visible even when the Zoom user sharing the screen intends only part of the screen to be.
Any participants recording the meeting would be able to freeze frames during playback and view potentially sensitive information. Zoom said it was working to fix the issue, but at the time of this writing, the flaw was still present in the latest version of the Zoom desktop client software for at least Windows and Linux. Keybase, an encrypted social-media verification system and chat app bought by Zoom in May , had a serious flaw opens in new tab that preserved images in online directories even after the user had deleted them.
The flaw was reported to Zoom in early January , and a Keybase software update to fix the flaw was released later that month. A new study conducted by researchers at Boston University and Binghamton University found that efforts to stop “Zoom bombing,” such as requiring passwords or making attendees stew in “waiting rooms,” often won’t work. That’s because many attacks are carried out by “insiders” who are already authorized to be in the meetings.
The “only effective defense” against such insider attacks, the paper argues, is to create “unique join links for each participant. Plagued by an epidemic of Zoom-bombing during city-assembly meetings, the city of Juneau, Alaska is exploring ways to outlaw the practice.
Police in Alaska’s capital have had a hard time tracking down the Zoom bombers. The city hopes that by making the practice illegal, it can compel Zoom to turn over information identifying the digital miscreants.
In a bombshell announcement, the U. Department of Justice opens in new tab said it had issued an arrest warrant for former Zoom executive Jin Xinjiang, aka Julien Jin, who until recently had served as the liaison between Zoom and the Chinese government.
The U. Jin is thought to be residing in China. Jin allegedly had help from unnamed co-conspirators who created fake email accounts and Zoom accounts in the names of known Chinese dissidents “to fabricate evidence that the hosts of and participants in the meetings to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre were supporting terrorist organizations, inciting violence or distributing child pornography.
The Dept. The DoJ announcement and arrest warrant opens in new tab refer only to an unnamed “Company-1” as Jin’s employer, but in a blog post, Zoom admitted that it was the company opens in new tab and that it had been conducting its own investigation after it received a subpoena from the U.
The post further explained that Jin had been hired by Zoom in October as part of an agreement with the Chinese government, which in September had “turned off our service in China without warning. The price of getting Zoom turned back on in China was to hire “an in-house contact for law enforcement requests” — i. Zoom service was restored in China in November , and the Dept.
Zoom admitted that Jin “shared or directed the sharing of a limited amount of individual user data with Chinese authorities,” and that the information of “fewer than ten The Better Business Bureau opens in new tab is warning Zoom users that scammers are trying to steal their usernames and passwords via phishing emails and text messages, reports Threatpost opens in new tab.
The messages tell you that “your Zoom account has been suspended” or that “you missed a meeting,” and offer a helpful link to log back in. But don’t fall for the bait — the login page is really a trap to capture your Zoom user credentials, with which the crooks can use or even steal your Zoom account.
One of the biggest problems with Zoom has been “Zoom bombing,” in which uninvited participants crash a Zoom meeting and disrupt it. Over the weekend, Zoom released two new features to combat this. One, “Suspend Participant Activities,” lets the meeting host pause the meeting, kick out disruptive participants, and then resume the meeting.
The other, “Report by Participants,” extends to meeting participants the ability to report disruptive participants, a remedy that previously had been given only to meeting hosts. The Federal Trade Commission announced that Zoom “misled users” and “engaged in a series of deceptive and unfair practices” regarding its own security. The FTC cited the fake end-to-end encryption uncovered in March and software that Zoom installed on Macs without authorization in and Zoom must agree to yearly internal security reviews and external security reviews every other year and must implement a vulnerability-management program.
Another stipulation was that Zoom offer customers multi-factor authentication , which it has already implemented. Researchers in Texas and Oklahoma discovered that it’s possible to tell what someone is typing during a Zoom call just by watching their shoulders and arms. Any kind of video-conferencing platform could be used for this, the researchers said, as could YouTube videos or streaming platforms like Twitch. Zoom’s end-to-end-encryption feature finally went live, except on iOS where it had to wait for Apple’s approval.
We’ve got instructions on how to enable Zoom’s end-to-end encryption. After a long period of time with no Zoom news, the company announced that the end-to-end encryption it had been working on for many months would soon be available for beta testing. Users will have to wait for a Zoom client software update in the third week of October.
Meeting hosts will be deciding whether to make a Zoom meeting end-to-end encrypted. Those meetings will not work for now for users trying to join via the web-browser interface or over the telephone. If you recall that the Zoom web interface was out of commission for a few days back in April , now we know why: The company was fixing a very serious security flaw that could have let anyone join a private Zoom meeting.
British security researcher Tom Anthony opens in new tab detailed on his blog this week how he found that he could make endless random guesses on the 6-digit PINs Zoom assigns to private meetings. That’s a million possibilities to go through, which might be tough for a human, but isn’t hard for a decently powered PC running multiple threads.
Anthony found he could break into Zoom meetings in about half an hour, give or take. That’s long before many meetings are over. An unnamed security researcher found a critical flaw in the Zoom meetings client software for Windows that would let a hacker remotely take over any PC running Windows 7 or earlier.
Zoom fixed the flaw with a software update soon after the flaw became public knowledge. Backing down after sustained criticism from privacy advocates, Zoom announced in a blog posting June 17 opens in new tab that its upcoming end-to-end encryption E2E wouldn’t just be for paid users any more. The millions of people who use Zoom for free for school, socializing and work would get end-to-end encryption too. Yuan wrote. But if you’re a free user who wants E2E, you’ll first have to verify your identity to Zoom via a one-time-password or similar service.
This will make it harder to “zoom bomb” meetings. The E2E encryption will remain an optional feature, Yuan reminded, because when it’s activated, no one can join a meeting over the phone or with certain office teleconferencing equipment.
It’ll be up to meeting hosts whether to activate E2E. Zoom’s in hot water in the U. The company apologized for the actions in a blog post June 11 opens in new tab and said it would develop a way to block meeting participants from certain locations i.
That wasn’t enough to satisfy more than a dozen U. Yuan demanding to know how cozy his company was with the Beijing government. Talos opens in new tab , an information-security research firm owned by Cisco, revealed June 3 that it had found two serious flaws in Zoom client applications, both of which have now been patched.
The first flaw opens in new tab would have let an attacker use a specially created animated GIF placed in a Zoom meeting chat to hack Zoom client software on other people’s machines to force the installation of malware, or, as Talos put it, “achieve arbitrary code execution. The second flaw opens in new tab also involves the chat function in Zoom meeting client software, with similarly serious potential consequences. The problem was that Zoom did not validate the contents of shared compressed files such as.
An attacker could have sent malware in the form of a compressed file to a user via Zoom meeting chat, and the user’s Zoom client would have saved and opened the malware within the Zoom application’s directory. Even worse, if the user were to save the Zoom compressed file elsewhere on the PC, such as on the desktop, then the attacked could send an altered version of the first file with the same name. Zoom would open the second version but not the first automatically, permitting the malware to “plant binaries at almost arbitrary paths and Zoom’s upcoming end-to-end encryption is mainly for paid users, as Zoom itself stated back on May 7.
But Alex Stamos, a well-known information-security expert who is consulting Zoom on security matters, told Reuters opens in new tab last week that schools and other non-profit enterprises might be able to also get the end-to-end encryption for their accounts.
All administrators of Zoom Rooms need to update their software opens in new tab by May 30, Zoom said in a blog posting May The update to Zoom 5. More information about updating Zoom Rooms is here opens in new tab. The 5. Two more instances of corrupted Zoom installers were found by Trend Micro researchers.
The first opens up a backdoor on a PC; the second spies on the PC’s owner with screenshots, keylogging and webcam hijacking and drafts the PC into the Devil Shadow botnet. Both installers do install the Zoom software client, so victims may be none the wiser. As always, get your Zoom software straight from the Zoom website at Zoom.
Zoom suffered an unexplained outage Sunday, May 17, rendering it unavailable to thousands of users in the U. The outage, which began Sunday morning U. Even the British government’s daily coronavirus briefing opens in new tab was affected, knocking out the ability of journalists to ask questions over Zoom.
Some users reported on Twitter that logging out of Zoom accounts, then logging back in, seemed to solve the issue. Zoom’s status page noted that a backend update had taken place earlier Sunday morning, but there didn’t seem to be any linkage between that update and the outage that began a few hours later. The Zoom status page opens in new tab said at the time that the outages “appear to be limited to a subset of users” and that Zoom was “working to identify the root cause and scope of this issue.
Cybercriminals may have registered hundreds of new Zoom-related website addresses in the past few weeks, according to researchers at Israeli security firm Check Point opens in new tab. Many of these sites are being used in phishing attacks to grab victims’ Zoom usernames and passwords, and similar scams are leveraging rival video-conferencing platforms such as Google Meet and Microsoft Teams.
Over the weekend, online vandals hijacked the graduation ceremony at Oklahoma City University opens in new tab , replacing the Zoom video feed with racist language and symbols. It wasn’t immediately clear whether this was a result of regular Zoom-bombing or if the attackers used less well-known methods to disrupt the video feed.
Zoom announced May 7 opens in new tab that due to its technical-support staff being overwhelmed with calls, it would be able to give personal technical assistance only to “owners and administrators” of paid accounts. In other words, any user, owner or administrator of a free Zoom account, and end users of paid accounts, won’t be entitled to human help.
Instead, they’ll have to rely on the FAQs and how-to’s list on the Zoom online resources opens in new tab page. For now, this provision applies only to May and June If the coronavirus lockdown last longer than that, Zoom may have to hire more tech-support staffers. New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ office reached an agreement with Zoom opens in new tab May 7 following an investigation into Zoom’s security and privacy practices.
There isn’t a lot of new stuff in the agreement. Most of the stipulations Zoom agreed to are things the company is already doing, including making passwords mandatory and using better encryption. In the long term, Zoom has to conduct regular code reviews and conduct yearly penetration-testing exercises, in which paid hackers try to break through the company’s defenses.
Only two new things will directly affect consumers. It also has to update its Acceptable Use policies to ban “abusive conduct include hatred against others based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. Frankly, these are longstanding standard policies at many other online companies, so we’re a little surprised that they weren’t already Zoom policies.
Yuan announced opens in new tab. The purchase price or other terms of the deal were not disclosed. Keybase makes user-friendly software to easily and securely encrypt messaging and social media posts. In March, Zoom had to admit that its touted “end-to-end” encryption was not the real thing because Zoom’s own servers are always able to access the contents of meetings. Once Keybase’s technology is incorporated, that will no longer always be the case.
Meeting passwords and waiting rooms will be required by default for all Zoom meetings, free or paid, beginning May 9, Zoom announced. Only hosts will be able to share their screens by default, but like the other settings, that can be changed. Yuan said the massive increase in Zoom usage since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown had been “challenging,” but also provided “opportunities for us to drive meaningful change and improvement.
Yuan admitted that “we failed to set pre-configured security features for our new customers, especially for schools,” referring to meeting passwords and waiting rooms. That resulted in “uninvited, offensive, and sometimes even truly evil people disrupting meetings,” Yuan wrote. Such a person disrupted a Zoom meeting on sexual violence opens in new tab in the Bay Area last week.
Yuan also addressed rumors about his own, and Zoom’s, ties to China. He said he had lived in the U. A reporter for London’s Financial Times resigned after he was caught crashing internal Zoom meetings at rival London newspapers.
Mark Di Stefano announced his resignation on Twitter opens in new tab after The Independent opens in new tab documented how Di Stefano had last week joined an Independent staff meeting regarding pay cuts and furloughs, first under his own name, then anonymously. Di Stefano cited his sources as “people on the call,” The Independent said. The Independent also found that Di Stefano’s cellphone had earlier been used to access a Zoom meeting at the Evening Standard, another London newspaper.
That meeting was followed by a Financial Times piece about Evening Standard furloughs and pay cuts. Zoom isn’t the only video-conferencing platform to have questionable privacy policies, Consumer Reports opens in new tab said in a blog post: Cisco Webex, Microsoft’s Teams and Skype, and Google’s Duo, Meet and Hangouts do too.
Consumer Reports said you should know that everything in a video meeting may be recorded, either by the host or another participant.