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Zoom not safe to use: Indian govt warns amid Coronavirus lockdown

Zoom not safe to use: Indian govt warns amid Coronavirus lockdown

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 16 Apr 2020, 06:18 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The Indian Government on Thursday declared that the Zoom App is not a safe platform for video conferencing and issued a set of guidelines for the users.

"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 a new advisory.

This comes as the entire world is turning largely to Zoom for carrying out 'work from home' amid the global coronavirus pandemic and a continuous lockdown in countries like India among others.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a set of guidelines for the safety of private users who "still would like to use Zoom for private purpose."

According to the guideline, unauthorised entry in the conference room and even malicious activity by authorised participants on terminals of the other participants should be prevented.

The MHA guideline said one should also avoid DOS attack by restricting users through passwords and access grant.

"Most of the settings can be done by login into users zoom account at website, or installed application at PC/Laptop/Phone and also during conduct of conference. However certain settings are possible through certain mode/channel only," the guidelines from the Union home ministry read.

The MHA advisory on secure use of Zoom meeting platform by private individuals said: 

1. Zoom is a not a safe platform and advisory of cert-in on the same dated Feb 06, 2020 and March 30, 2020 may kindly be referred. These advisories are available on Cert-In website.

2. Those private individuals who still would like to use Zoom for private purpose may kindly follow the following guidelines.

3. Broad objective of this document is to enable/disable certain settings is to:

ï‚·  prevent unauthorised entry in the conference room

ï‚·  prevent an authorised participant to carry out malicious on the terminals of other in the conference.

ï‚·  Avoid DOS attack by restricting users through passwords and access grant.

4. Most of the settings can be done by login into users zoom account at website, or installed application at PC/Laptop/Phone and also during conduct of conference. However certain settings are possible through certain mode/channel only.

For example, lock meeting can be enabled by administrator only when the meeting has started. This documents explains in details all the security configuration through website, App and through console during the conduct of conference
 

The Zoom App reportedly has privacy issues as well. "Our technical analysis shows how this very popular video conferencing app encrypts meeting data," an officer of the cyber cell was quoted as saying by NDTV.

"Leading business houses and governments and others who need confidentiality should not be using this software," the officer warned.

Google had earlier banned the Zoom app from all employees' computers over security breach possibilities while Singapore banned teachers from using Zoom after hackers posted obscene images on screens.

The app has also been banned for usage in Germany, Singapore and Taiwan.

Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) intelligence agency last week warmed users to stay away from insecure video conferencing applications.

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