New York officials are raising security concerns about Zoom as usage of the popular videoconferencing platform has skyrocketed in recent weeks due to social distancing.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, D-New York, sent the San Jose, California-based company a letter inquiring about measures it is taking to ensure the security of the app after increasing reports of online trollers and hackers interrupting important virtual business meetings with disturbing photos and other vile material.
In the letter, obtained by The New York Times, James says Zoom is “an essential and valuable communications platform.” However, she raised concerns that the company has not adequately reconciled security flaws “that could enable malicious third parties to, among other things, gain surreptitious access to consumer webcams.”
Here are just two of the examples of the kinds of security breaches during Zoom meetings that the U.S. Department of Justice has pointed out.
— Ceri Weber, PhD (@ceri_weber) March 28, 2020
We are investigating the racist Zoom bombing of a meeting of UT students, staff & faculty. It was reprehensible. If the perpetrators are members of the UT community, they will be disciplined. We will also increase online security for all UT staff to prevent similar incidents.
— Greg Fenves (@gregfenves) March 31, 2020
Schools, businesses, organizations and private citizens have flocked to Zoom by the millions in recent weeks as a vehicle to facilitate meetings in this new era of self-quarantine.
The New York Times reports that the FBI has taken note that Zoom has been vulnerable to what is being called “Zoombombing” in a number of meetings. This is where online trolls surreptitiously inserted pornographic photos, hate speech and other reprehensible material into virtual meetings nationwide.
James made it clear in her letter that she and other officials are “concerned that Zoom’s existing security practices might not be sufficient to adapt to the recent and sudden surge in both the volume and sensitivity of data being passed through its network,” according to the Times.
— Eric S. Yuan (he / him / his) (@ericsyuan) March 30, 2020