The Cyber Coordination Centre (CyCord) of India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday, April 16, issued an advisory stating video conferencing app Zoom as ‘not a safe platform’.
“Zoom is not a safe platform even for usage of individuals. A detailed advisory has already been issued by CERT-India,” the home ministry said in an advisory.
The government on Thursday issued a set of guidelines for the safety of users “who still would like to use Zoom for private purposes”. The guidelines stated how to restrict the entry of an unauthorised user in the virtual conference room and how to evade DOS(denial-of-service) attack by limiting users through access grants.
“Most of the settings can be done by login into users zoom account at the website, or installed application at PC/Laptop/Phone and also during the conduct of a conference. However certain settings are possible through certain modes/channels only,” the guidelines stated in the 16-page advisory.
Earlier Cert-In, India’s nodal cybersecurity agency had warned the participants about the security flaws. One of the flaws of Zoom includes “zoom bombing”, in which unverified users interrupt the meeting by blabbering racial comments or showing salacious imagery.
Countries like Germany, Taiwan, Singapore have already prohibited the app after some instances of security threat. Last week Australian Signals Directorate or ASD intelligence agency warned users to stay away from such vulnerable apps.
The company has apologised for the faults and assured that they are working on to fix them.
“Zoom takes user security extremely seriously. A large number of global institutions ranging from the world’s largest financial services companies and telecommunications providers to non-governmental organizations and government agencies, have done exhaustive security reviews of our user, network and datacenter layers and continue to use Zoom for most or all of their unified communications needs,” Zoom said in a statement later in the day.
The San-Jose, California based video conferencing platform Zoom has garnered more users during the lockdown period. The tool has recorded over 200 million daily meeting participants in March 2020, a sharp spike from 10 million last year.
Zoom allures the users with its simplicity unlike its competitors Google Meet and Microsoft Teams which are more secure yet complex. Though amid the coronavirus crisis when video conferencing platforms have become essential to keep the employees and the students engaged, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have lowered their bridges to give the accessibility to more people.