Why government agencies do not feel secure about using Zoom videoconference?

Security flaws in technological developments are a major concern of senior officials in multiple countries, penetration testing specialist say. In compliance with the social distancing recommendations due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been using the Zoom video conferencing app to hold some meetings to address multiple relevant issues, including national security, although the premier may need to look for other alternatives.

The British Ministry of Defense has just issued an internal statement to inform its staff of the immediate suspension in the use of this platform, at least until an investigation into their safety is completed. The Defense also called for the security of other services and platforms.

The message sent to ministry members mentions that, in the near future, it will be decided whether the British government can continue to use Zoom, or if it will be stopped permanently. In this regard, penetration testing services specialists say this was a predictable measure, as it is vital for governments and private companies around the world to have secure communication channels in the face of contingency.

On the other hand, Paul Bischoff, renowned penetration testing services expert from Comparitech, says Zoom’s popularity has increased markedly over the past few weeks, although companies that use it do not tend to stop to think about the safety of this platform.

Employees of public and private organizations who were previously unfamiliar with this class of services have had to resort to their use in the face of the inability to attend their workplaces; even some people have learned to use Zoom for social purposes, as it offers better quality in service than more common platforms, such as WhatsApp video call.

Although this platform has all possible security measures, they are not exempt from faults. A few months ago, for example, the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) revealed a webcam security flaw that could have been exploited to compromise any Zoom sessions. Despite receiving multiple reports, the company took too long to correct the flaw, which generated discontent among its thousands of users.