Zoom to suppress Zoombombing, in agreement with the Attorney General of NY: NPR

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A fitness trainer chats with the participants while giving Zoom lessons in an empty gym. Daily usage of the teleconference service soared to 300 million from around 10 million in a few months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jeff Chiu / AP

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Jeff Chiu / AP

A fitness trainer chats with the participants while giving Zoom lessons in an empty gym. Daily usage of the teleconference service soared to 300 million from around 10 million in a few months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jeff Chiu / AP

Updated Thursday at 6:51 p.m. ET

Zoom has agreed to do more to prevent hackers from disrupting video conferencing sessions and to protect user data, according to an agreement announced Thursday by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered incredible growth for Zoom. Daily usage of the teleconference service has increased to 300 million, from around 10 million in a few months. As more and more people connected, Zoom’s security and privacy vulnerabilities became apparent.

Hackers have started to disrupt online courses, government meetings, cocktails and other events in a trend that has become known as Zoombombing.

Federal and state law enforcement investigators across the country have begun to pay attention.

“Our lives have inexorably changed in the past two months, and while Zoom has provided invaluable service, it has done so in an unacceptable manner without essential security safeguards,” James said in a statement from his office. “This agreement puts in place safeguards so that Zoom users can control their privacy and security, and so that workplaces, schools, religious institutions and consumers do not have to worry when they are participating in a video call. “

Zoom has committed to taking more measures to prevent hackers from accessing chat sessions and user accounts. It must now run a “vulnerability management program” to identify and avoid violations in live video chat conversations, the New York regulators wrote in the deal.

The bad actors reported will now be investigated by Zoom, and the company will ban those who violate Zoom’s anti-abuse policies, state regulators said.

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