If there’s one tech company that got a boost from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s Zoom. The remote communications company has seen its usage soar as millions across the planet have switched to remotely working from home. Matter of fact, as the companies listed on major stock markets saw trillions wiped from their value in recent weeks, Zoom has seen its share price shoot up as much as 134% this year.
But recently the company has come under scrutiny for its privacy practices—or lack thereof. Earlier this week The Intercept reported that Zoom calls aren’t end-to-end encrypted despite Zoom’s marketing claiming they are. A day later an ex-NSA hacker discovered major bugs in Zoom that allows a malicious hacker to take over the microphone and webcam of a Mac and even allow root access to the Mac. Oh, and that’s after a previous bug was found that allows hackers to steal Windows passwords via a Zoom exploit.
Hi @zoom_us & @NCSC – here is an example of exploiting the Zoom Windows client using UNC path injection to expose credentials for use in SMBRelay attacks. The screen shot below shows an example UNC path link and the credentials being exposed (redacted). pic.twitter.com/gjWXas7TMO
— Hacker Fantastic (@hackerfantastic) March 31, 2020
Perhaps it’s little surprise that companies and institutions are becoming wary of using Zoom. And now, one major company—Elon Musk’s SpaceX—has banned all employees from using the app. As Reuters reports, the company emailed all employees on March 28 announcing that their access to Zoom has been disabled. From the email:
We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support. Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication.
Reuters points out that NASA too has banned employees from using Zoom. It’s possible that other companies may soon do so as well. The good news is if Zoom freaks you out, there’s no shortage of alternate video conferencing solutions such as FaceTime and WhatsApp video calling, or Skype video calling for more business-savvy needs.