As people around the world started following shelter-in-place orders, popular video conferencing platform Zoom quickly gained new users, noting in a recent blog post that it had reached more than 200 million daily users last month, up from 10 million in December. From virtual conferences to online birthday parties, thousands of individuals have flocked to Zoom in an attempt to remain social at a time when social gatherings are banned.
Yet, while Zoom may have seemed like the perfect alternative to in-person gatherings, a major security flaw has been lurking in the system. Following the sudden balloon in daily users, it was discovered last week that thousands of personal Zoom videos have been left viewable on the open web.
What’s the issue?
Ankit Bhatia, CEO and co-founder of the Sapien Network social platform, told Cointelegraph that signing into Zoom has never been a secure process:
“If you know the server the Zoom call is on, then you only need to run a script to generate the right sequence of numbers at a given time and you’re potentially in on a conference, be it a daily technical standup or an AA meeting. This is especially easy when Zoom users don’t password-protect their meetings.”
In addition to strangers having access to “private” Zoom videos, personally identifiable information such as email addresses and passwords have also been compromised.
Jeff Pulver, Voice Over Internet Protocol pioneer, told Cointelegraph that the main issue with all major communication services like Zoom is that it uses centralized data storage mechanisms. Due to this, Zoom poses security threats to the confidential information it gathers. He explained:
“Companies like Zoom say they cannot access user data, but they still mine the data generated by those apps, such as how often users talk to someone and whose phone numbers they have stored in their smartphone’s address book. Routing all business and personal data through a centralized server with one main point of…