The past month or so has been eventful for Zoom. From getting shot to fame with light speed, to scrambling to save their reputation, the video-conferencing app has had a very steep fall from grace. Organisations around the world barred their employees from using the app, including prominent names like SpaceX, and Google, among others. That was followed by Taiwan and Germany banning the official use of the app. As quickly as it garnered those 200 Million active users, it looks on course for reporting an equal number of privacy-breach incidents.
Now, if reports are to be believed, Singapore is the latest entry to the list of countries that have banned the app, after incidents of hackers breaching home-based schooling sessions and posting obscene pictures were reported. This led to the Ministry of Education banning the use of the app for home-based school education after “very serious incidents” occurred during the past week.
“These are very serious incidents,” Aaron Loh, divisional director of the educational technology division at the city-state’s Ministry of Education, said in an emailed reply to Bloomberg News queries. “MOE is currently investigating both breaches and will lodge a police report if warranted,” he said.
Zoom, in its defense, said they are working on ramping up the security infrastructure and have already introduced new features while more are in working.
“We recently changed the default settings for education users enrolled in our K-12 program to enable virtual waiting rooms and ensure teachers are the only ones who can share content in class,” a Zoom spokesperson said. The company is also adding a new “Security” icon to the app’s toolbar for all users, giving quicker access to security features, he added.
The latest incident follows the long line of tumultuous events that have befallen the video-conferencing app in the past two weeks. It all started with reports that Zoom was routing video data through Chinese servers. The news was later confirmed by the organization albeit with a very childish reasoning one may say. This coincided with several incidents of “zoombombing” reported by users across the world, where random strangers were able to breach into private meetings and post objectionable content. Then followed the ban by several organizations around the world as well as many governments also barring the official use of the app.
Zoom’s CEO and founder Eric Yuan has since been offering apologies here and there, accepting that they had failed miserably as an organization. Zoom has also since hired Facebook’s former security head Alex Stamos as an advisor. Only time will tell what unfolds in the next episode of “Doom with Zoom.”