Videoconferencing app Zoom says it is boosting its focus on safety and privacy issues amid a surge in “Zoom-bombing,” or video hacking.
The FBI on Monday warned of a nationwide rise in “Zoom-bombing,” as more people have turned to videoconferencing amid the coronavirus pandemic. The bureau said it had received multiple reports of hackers taking over universities, schools, churches and political conferences, according to media reports. In Buffalo, N.Y., on Tuesday, a YMCA said its live family storytime was hacked.
Ex-NSA hacker Patrick Wardle also identified a series of issues, including a flaw where Mac users were vulnerable to having microphones and webcams hijacked.
Zoom’s daily users ballooned to more than 200 million in March from a previous maximum total of 10 million.
“For the past several weeks, supporting this influx of users has been a tremendous undertaking and our sole focus,” founder and CEO Eric Yuan said in a blog post Thursday.
He admitted that despite “working around the clock” to support the influx of new users, the company had “fallen short of the community’s – and our own – privacy and security expectations.”
“For that, I am deeply sorry,” he said.
Yuan said the company had made a number of changes to address concerns, including clarifying its encryption practices, removing code that meant information was shared from its iOS app to Facebook, releasing fixes for Mac-related issues, removing a LinkedIn feature to prevent unnecessary data disclosure and issuing guidelines about how to avoid becoming a victim of zoombombing.
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