Due to the ongoing health crisis, the Coronavirus pandemic, almost every big company like Google, Facebook, and Twitter had started asking its employees to start work from home. This was done as a step towards practising social distancing and also to safeguard the health of their employees. As a result, every company saw a rise in the usage of video conferencing apps like Zoom. The use of Zoom took the market by an explosion. And Google was amongst the top users of it.
But with the rise in the usage of Zoom, it also created various risks in the matters of security and privacy issues for a Company. Because of that, Google has become the first big tech giant company to ban Zoom from all its employee’s work computers and have strictly asked their employees not to use the app and install it in the future.
According to the leading news portal Buzzfeed, Google stated to all its employees that the company soon would be disabling Zoom from all its employees and corporate computers. The company has further confirmed in its latest statement that Google will block the Zoom Desktop Client, and it will be done immediately by the start of this week. The company has also issued a note on its policy that goes by “policy of not allowing employees to use unapproved apps for work that are outside of our corporate network.”
Google says that the app has failed to conform and meet the security standards for their company to be safe enough to be used by their employees. The company claims that the Zoom Video Conference App has several vulnerabilities that need to be addressed by the developers of Zoom before the company finds its security to meet its standards and is marked safe to be used again.
There are various issues in the Zoom Video Conferencing app, and following the decision made by Google, other companies, too, have started avoiding the use of Zoom. Some of their most recently caught vulnerabilities have been that the video calls made on Zoom are not end to end encrypted, which is a major security blunder. Another leaked information about Zoom that took the market by storm was that the Zoom iOS app was caught sending data to Facebook, even though the user may not have an account on Zoom.
These are just some of the faults found in Zoom lately. An ex-NSA hacker also found some flaws in Zoom that included faults and security issues in their use of the webcam, mic, and the access to root. The type of encryption used by Zoom has also been found to be weaker compared to what is expected, even from the weak standard of encryption. The company claimed to use the 256-bit AES keys encryption. Still, later the researchers from Citizens Lab found that the company was using only a 128-bit key, which is not enough for the level of security that it should be providing.
The Zoom Company in a statement to some news channels said that the company would soon be shifting from the 128 bit ECB encryption to the 256 bit AES encryption to provide their customers with more security and a reliable environment to hold their meetings and conferences. The company says that they are working on it, and a new update will soon be released in the market. It has asked its customers to bear with them as they are working on it diligently.
Following the decision made by Google, other major companies like SpaceX and some of the New York schools have also moved away from using the Zoom software and have started using alternatives. The Google Company has not banned its employees from using Zoom for personal video calls and meetings. Still, the company surely intends its employees to use their very own Google Meet Video conferencing app, as it is safer and more reliable.
Whether Google intends to uplift the ban after a certain period is still unknown. More information on the matter is awaited.