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India says Zoom 'not a safe platform' for video conferencing

U.S.-based Zoom has apologized for security flaws and says it is working to fix them.
Image: Zoom
A lower school substitute teacher speaks with her collegues from her home through Zoom, on April 1, 2020 in Arlington, Va.Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images file

India said on Thursday videoconferencing software Zoom is “not a safe platform”, joining other countries that have expressed concern about the security of an application that has become hugely popular worldwide during the coronavirus lockdown.

U.S.-based Zoom has apologized for security flaws and says it is working to fix them. Problems have included “Zoombombing”, when uninvited users gatecrash a video conference.

Taiwan and Germany have already curbed the use of Zoom, while Google banned the desktop version from corporate laptops this month.

“Zoom is a not a safe platform,” the Cyber Coordination Centre (CyCord) of India’s ministry of home affairs said in a 16-page advisory.

Zoom did not immediately respond to an email from Reuters seeking comment on the Indian advisory. Founder and Chief Executive Eric Yuan this month apologized for what he called falling short of “the community’s – and our own – privacy and security expectations.” The company was dedicating resources to identify and fix the issues, he added.

The Indian ministry provided a list of adjustments it advised users to make to Zoom software’s security settings to provide better protection from unauthorized entry into virtual conference rooms and attacks on users’ computers.

Zoom has enjoyed a surge in usage since the virus outbreak began, as millions of people use it to stay connected while isolating themselves. In March it had about 200 million people using its system every day, up from 10 million last year.

As India enforced a nationwide lockdown late last month to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Zoom’s smartphone app saw a sharp surge in downloads.

Even some Indian government officials have held discussions with industry executives to discuss coronvirus relief measures via Zoom. One media report this week said the Indian government was advising its ministers not to use third-party software for sensitive meetings.