Zoom 5.0 update bolsters encryption, adds meeting security features

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in General Discussion
After a month of criticism, a promised update for Zoom has arrived, introducing stronger encryption plus resolution of a number of past issues with the platform, including "Zoombombing."

Zoom's update Wednesday is an initial step toward in a broader 90-day security plan.
Zoom's update Wednesday is an initial step toward in a broader 90-day security plan.


Zoom has been most people's choice for video conferencing during the coronavirus, but has been plagued by privacy and security issues since its boom in popularity. On Wednesday, Zoom said it's fixed some of those issues.

The new Zoom 5.0 update, for example, introduces AES 256-bit GCM encryption, which the company says will offer "increased protection" of data in transit and resistance to tampering.

Previously, Zoom was misleading customers about end-to-end encryption claims. Even though Zoom says its GCM encryption upgrade is better, it's still not claiming that it's end-to-end encrypted.

To combat the so-called "Zoombombing" phenomenon, which involves bad actors joining a meeting they weren't invited to, Zoom has introduced some room control features, such as the ability to remove and ban participants, lock meetings, report users and enable waiting rooms when a meeting is underway.

Other security and privacy features include a new grouped security menu, default password-protected meetings, and the removal of meeting IDs from the Zoom interface so it'll be harder for callers to leak them.

Although originally planned for an April 22 release, the Zoom 5.0 update was delayed until April 29. The company say it's the first milestone in a broader "90-day plan" to revamp the platform's security and private standards.

All users will be required to have GCM encryption and Zoom 5.0 to join meetings on May 30.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    Good. They had to do something so at least this is a start.

    Our household is in the camp of people, which I’m sure there are many of, who “have to” use Zoom in order to connect our child to class. We use it every day during the week. If it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t be using Zoom at all.
    maltzStrangeDaysPetrolDavemagman1979cgWerks
  • Reply 2 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,287member
    Funny how they never seemed to care until somebody lifted the rock they were hiding under.
    beeble42maltzStrangeDaysPetrolDavemagman1979pscooter63cgWerksmacseekerjony0chasm
  • Reply 3 of 27
    My son's school uses Zoom. My work colleges use Zoom. My wife's company uses Zoom. College virtual tours also use Zoom. Funny how Zoom becomes the standard out of no where. Zoom is great only for local conference. For oversea conference, Microsoft Teams work the best without flaws.
  • Reply 4 of 27
    My son's school uses Zoom. My work colleges use Zoom. My wife's company uses Zoom. College virtual tours also use Zoom. Funny how Zoom becomes the standard out of no where. Zoom is great only for local conference. For oversea conference, Microsoft Teams work the best without flaws.
    There's lots of crappy software that became "standards".
    Word, Excel, Windows, AutoCAD…
    lkruppkurai_kagezeus423StrangeDaysPetrolDavemagman1979cgWerksjony0olschasm
  • Reply 5 of 27
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,576member
    My son's school uses Zoom. My work colleges use Zoom. My wife's company uses Zoom. College virtual tours also use Zoom. Funny how Zoom becomes the standard out of no where. Zoom is great only for local conference. For oversea conference, Microsoft Teams work the best without flaws.
    The de facto overseas corporate standard still remains Skype to this day.

    There's no surprise why Zoom became so popular. It is really easy to use and doesn't require registration unlike Skype, WebEx, Facebook/Google/whatever. If you're on a computer, if you don't want to install any software, you can connect via your web browser.
    dewmemaltzPetrolDavemagman1979ravnorodomtoysandme
  • Reply 6 of 27
    maltzmaltz Posts: 265member
    My son's school uses Zoom. My work colleges use Zoom. My wife's company uses Zoom. College virtual tours also use Zoom. Funny how Zoom becomes the standard out of no where. Zoom is great only for local conference. For oversea conference, Microsoft Teams work the best without flaws.
    There's lots of crappy software that became "standards".
    Word, Excel, Windows, AutoCAD…

    I can't speak for AutoCAD, but to be fair, Word and Excel became standards before they were crappy...
    neilmllamachasmmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 27
    I can no longer use my canon camera as a web cam and it won't even let me in the settings with out shutting down. I need this for work and my kids need it for school. please fix it already!!!
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Great!

    Still not going to install it. Never! Trust in a developer is everything. In a related incident: I’m off Facebook apps for more than a year now, and it’s just fine.
    pscooter63toysandmedarkvaderqwerty52
  • Reply 9 of 27
    Zoom used to let me use my Canon as the cam now since this update it doesn't allow it. The second problem is the app crashes out of nowhere PLEASE FIX IT. I desperately need this for work and my kids for school. I don't want to have to switch to something else when it work fine before. just add it back and fit the crashing.PLEASE!!!
    toysandme
  • Reply 10 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,388member
    Najassta said:
    Zoom used to let me use my Canon as the cam now since this update it doesn't allow it. The second problem is the app crashes out of nowhere PLEASE FIX IT. I desperately need this for work and my kids for school. I don't want to have to switch to something else when it work fine before. just add it back and fit the crashing.PLEASE!!!
    This isn’t the Zoom company forum, you won’t find any help here. Have you contacted their support channels? 
    llamamagman1979firelockchasmtoysandmedarkvaderqwerty52muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 27
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,682member
    It will be interesting to see what happens when Gab GO is released. (Actually built with privacy in mind.)

    maltz said:
    My son's school uses Zoom. My work colleges use Zoom. My wife's company uses Zoom. College virtual tours also use Zoom. Funny how Zoom becomes the standard out of no where. Zoom is great only for local conference. For oversea conference, Microsoft Teams work the best without flaws.
    There's lots of crappy software that became "standards".
    Word, Excel, Windows, AutoCAD…

    I can't speak for AutoCAD, but to be fair, Word and Excel became standards before they were crappy...

    Were they ever good, though? Excel is certainly powerful. Word can be powerful too, but it is hardly the best word processor. I suppose many will argue that Excel is.

    But, yeah, industry standards don't often indicate something is best, just compatible, more trained workforce, or maybe some special features a particular industry needs.

    Unfortunately, unless you're an independent, you'll have to conform to those standards. If you are independent, using something better can be a secret weapon. Unless someone is utilizing some proprietary features of AutoCAD, for example, I could run circles around them using other CAD apps.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,689member
    My son's school uses Zoom. My work colleges use Zoom. My wife's company uses Zoom. College virtual tours also use Zoom. Funny how Zoom becomes the standard out of no where. Zoom is great only for local conference. For oversea conference, Microsoft Teams work the best without flaws.
    There's lots of crappy software that became "standards".
    Word, Excel, Windows, AutoCAD…
    What's wrong with Excel? Better yet, what's objectively "better" than Excel? Numbers? Quattro Pro? or something that's not yet been developed?

    Zoom's popularity is very apparent the first time you use it, and especially if you've lived through the growing pains of other video conferencing apps. It just works and you don't have to be a systems administrator or ubergeek to figure it out. Would I trust it on a mission critical computer? Not yet, until they finish buttoning up its security issues. No problem on VMs, backup machines, Linux machines, Raspberry Pi with webcam, etc.
    toysandme
  • Reply 13 of 27
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,682member
    dewme said:
    Zoom's popularity is very apparent the first time you use it, and especially if you've lived through the growing pains of other video conferencing apps. It just works and you don't have to be a systems administrator or ubergeek to figure it out. Would I trust it on a mission critical computer? Not yet, until they finish buttoning up its security issues. No problem on VMs, backup machines, Linux machines, Raspberry Pi with webcam, etc.
    Yeah, I just don't have enough experience with it to say one way or the other. But, besides Skype's crazy UI changes (every few weeks, it seems), I always found it to work almost unbelievably well. But, maybe Zoom is even better (in core functionality)?
  • Reply 14 of 27
    People can complain about Zoom all they want -- I am not thrilled about its initial security shortfalls, yet I appreciate the company's candor and responsiveness -- but there's a simple reason they went from 10M to 300M users in a few weeks (or companies, schools, families adopted them as the de facto standard): they made it easy, no-fuss, straightforward. And superbly stable despite all that volume which they had to deal with, yet they were able to turn on a dime.

    The rest of the entrenched, moribund, fat-and-happy videoconferencing incumbents just sat around and watched while an upstart company (yet again) walked away with their marbles right in front of their eyes.

    I am sticking with the company (and its stock).


    toysandmemrmacgeek
  • Reply 15 of 27
    Najassta said:
    Zoom used to let me use my Canon as the cam now since this update it doesn't allow it. The second problem is the app crashes out of nowhere PLEASE FIX IT. I desperately need this for work and my kids for school. I don't want to have to switch to something else when it work fine before. just add it back and fit the crashing.PLEASE!!!
    Newer versions of Zoom (those released in the past 2-3 weeks) appear to have disabled the use of "virtual" web cams which I suspect is how your Canon implemented its connection. I've been a fan of iGlasses for years because it allows me to customize my webcam settings, primarily zoom and pan. My iMac's iSight camera is far too wide-angled for proper video conferencing, and iGlasses allowed me to zoom in. I also adjusted exposure and saturation to clean up the poor lighting in my office.

    Unfortunately, iGlasses also presents itself as a "virtual webcam" as well and is no longer supported by Zoom. My guess is that adding this back in is very low on the list of priorities for Zoom right now, so I'll just have to move my iMac forward a few feet for my calls, or see if I can live with the browser plug-in.

    Meh.
    ravnorodomtoysandme
  • Reply 16 of 27
    anomeanome Posts: 1,451member
    Upping the security isn't that much of an improvement if it isn't end-to-end. The whole architecture of Zoom is basically a man-in-the-middle vulnerability.

    It has a number of great features, and seems to be purpose built for things like remote podcast recording, but if you want any kind of security, it's kind of bad.
    mailmeofferscaladanian
  • Reply 17 of 27
    anome said:
    Upping the security isn't that much of an improvement if it isn't end-to-end. The whole architecture of Zoom is basically a man-in-the-middle vulnerability.
    I keep seeing people decry its lack of end-to-end encryption. Their initial instance that they provide it was stupid, as was how long they held on to that claim before eventually dropping it, but beyond that I do not understand the shortcoming. There is no video conference service that offers end-to-end encryption at scale for large, multipoint sessions. How could that possibly work? That's a genuine question, not rhetorical. I cannot fathom how multiple video sessions could be combined into a single session without a central server that decrypts the individual sessions, combines them, and then sends the combined stream to each percipient. The alternative would be fully meshed connections of each endpoint to all the others but that can't scale out. 
    lowededwookiemrmacgeek
  • Reply 18 of 27
    Najassta said:
    Zoom used to let me use my Canon as the cam now since this update it doesn't allow it. The second problem is the app crashes out of nowhere PLEASE FIX IT. I desperately need this for work and my kids for school. I don't want to have to switch to something else when it work fine before. just add it back and fit the crashing.PLEASE!!!
    And complaining on an Apple forum rather than customer support is going to do what?

    Zoom is great software. Skype is great for person to person but up to and over 100? Good luck paying for that.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,372member
    I'm glad to hear they are addressing some of the security problems they let fester because they didn't care until they suddenly had to play catch-up ... but no claim of END-TO-END encryption means I will not use it for anything sensitive full stop, and will only use it when absolutely required until they fix that.
    toysandmecaladanian
  • Reply 20 of 27
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 257member
    Always funny to read how 'normal' people are upset about end-to-end encryption. I mean, what is your threat model? Do they even understand how difficult it is to intercept such streams? If you have a state actor trying to get your info you have a bigger problem.
    toysandmemrmacgeek
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