10 Reasons to Ditch Zoom

Zoom / Public domain

1: Zoom lies about their encryption

There is a really cool technology that you can use to protect your communications called ‘end-to-end’ encryption. It appears that Zoom has been lying about implementing end-to-end encryption for your video calls. They have since been sued for fraud due to these false claims.

2: Zoom installs like Malware

Before a series of updates removed some of these features, Zoom would automatically install itself onto your computer in some circumstances, behaving just like malware would. It even came complete with a fake (social engineering style) prompt that pretended to be your computer’s “system”.

3: Zoom had a huge security flaw

Just last year, it was found that Zoom had a tremendous security flaw in the way it ran itself. It turns out that Zoom was installing a secret server on your computer, a server it would leave running even if you tried to uninstall it. This server allowed anyone on the web to hack your computer, potentially activating your web cam.

4: Zoom will sell your data

It appears that Zoom is completely willing to sell your data to make a quick buck. They were recently found to be sending data about you to Facebook, even if you didn’t have a Facebook account.

5: Zoom’s relationship with China

Zoom seems to have a very strong relationship with China. It is of note that China has been known to engage in hacking against targets in the west. Backdooring Zoom might give Chinese government hackers access to your computer. The US is particularly concerned about Zoom’s relationship with China. Though Zoom is a US based company, it appears that the software has been built in China. Recently, Zoom was found to be secretly routing video calls through China, this may have been an accident, or it may have been Espionage.

6: Zoom doesn’t understand Encryption

One of the most important things you need to have involved in a video call for it to be secure, is encryption technologies. Not only does Zoom sometimes lie about what encryption they have but the encryption they do implement is broken in ways that can enable others to see into your meetings, even if they’re private.

7: Installing Software is Dangerous

A decade ago, if you wanted to make your computer do anything cool you needed to download and install some executable software package that contained the code to do that thing. Nowadays, you can do almost anything you need in a web browser. You shouldn’t need to download and install a sketchy software package. When you download and run something from the internet, you give that software the ability to do almost anything to your computer. You might think that anti-virus will keep it from doing anything “bad” this is fundamentally incorrect.

Anti-virus is only good at detecting and blocking software that is known to be bad. If Zoom looks like its being installed on purpose, and is doing roughly what its intended to do, Anti-Virus companies won’t touch it. Imagine all the rage they’d get if they started uninstalling it from people who wanted to use it for video calls.

When you install Zoom, you’re giving them full control over your computer.

8: There are many alternatives

There are so many competitors to Zoom, many of which will simply run in your web browser (helping you avoid having to install anything). While Zoom has made mistake after mistake, most of its competitors have clean records.

9: Zoom might leak your data

It was recently found that Zoom was leaking data on thousands of users. This appears to have simply been the result of poor design on the part of Zoom.

10: Zoom is banned in many places

Big companies like SpaceX, Google, Bank of America as well as government agencies like NASA, the United States Senate, the German Foreign Ministry, the Australian Defense Force, etc… have all banned Zoom. These companies are making these choices because their experts understand the dangers posed by Zoom. You deserve the same level of protection, and that starts by removing Zoom today.

About the author

Professional hacker & security engineer. Currently at Google, opinions all my own. On Twitter as @zaeyx. Skydiver, snowboarder, writer, weightlifter, runner, energetic to the point of being a bit crazy.

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