Zoom Hires Former Facebook Security Chief While Google Bans Desktop Application


(Reuters) – Zoom Video Communications Inc (ZM.O) hired former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos as an advisor to improve the privacy and security of his growing videoconferencing application amid global backlash, including a decision to ” Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) Google to ban the desktop version of Zoom from corporate laptops.

FILE PHOTO: The Zoom Video Communications logo is pictured on the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York, New York, the United States, on April 18, 2019. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri / File Photo

Around the same time, officials at California’s Berkeley High School said they had stopped using Zoom after “naked adult man using racial slurs” infringed on what the school said be a password-protected meeting, according to a letter to parents seen by Reuters.

School District spokesperson said possible password may have been shared allowing intrusion, but Berkeley school district as a whole paused for at least “a few days” Zoom to explore how to use and train for videoconferencing.

Coronavirus lockouts have resulted in increased use of Zoom this year, but in recent weeks there has been increased concern about the lack of end-to-end encryption of meeting sessions, routing of traffic across China and the “Zoombombing”, where uninvited guests caused meetings to crash.

Zoom shares rose 3.8% late in the session on Wednesday. They had crashed by a third in the past 10 days.

Zoom attracted users with its ease of use and its free offer. Many schools around the world have also started using it for online courses.

In a series of tweets here At the end of March, Stamos called on Zoom to be more transparent and to deploy a 30-day security plan. This led to a call from the founder and CEO of the platform, Eric Yuan, asking him to weigh in as an external consultant.

“Zoom has important work to do in basic application security, cryptographic design and infrastructure security, and I look forward to working with Zoom’s engineering teams on these projects,” wrote Stamos, now. assistant professor at Stanford University, in a blog. publish medium.com/@alexstamos/working-on-security-and-safety-with-zoom-2f61f197cb34 Wednesday.

Taiwan and Germany have placed restrictions on its use, while Elon Musk’s SpaceX has banned the application for security reasons. The company was also slapped with a class action.

Competitive product Google said on Wednesday that it was removing Zoom from workers’ computers due to security concerns. A Google spokesperson said employees can still use the mobile and browser versions of Zoom.

“It would be in Zoom’s interest to conduct a large-scale investigation into the security breaches and provide a report on whether the breaches led to a real compromise,” said Theresa Payton, former chief information officer. at the White House and currently CEO of Solutions Fortalice.

To address these concerns, Zoom launched a 90-day plan here and formed a CISO board, which includes HSBC information security officers (HSBA.L), NTT Data (9613.T), Procore PCOR.N and Ellie Mae, to discuss privacy, security and technology issues.

He has also set up a board to advise CEO Yuan on privacy issues. Initial members include executives from VMware (VMW.N), Netflix (NFLX.O), Uber (UBER.N) and Electronic Arts (EA.O).

“However, I think whatever problems identified by Mr. Stamos and the advisory board will take more than 90 days to correct, review or modify the network,” said Jonathan Kees, analyst at Summit Insights Group.

Zoom, which competes with Microsoft (MSFT.O) Teams and Cisco (CSCO.O) Webex saw daily users go from 10 million to 200 million and the stock hit a record high in March.

Report by Akanksha Rana and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru, Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Additional reports to Raphael Satter in Washington; Editing by Peter Henderson and Marguerita Choy

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