Zoom video conferencing app is gaining popularity and with this, it becomes the target of harassment.
With coronavirus spreading rapidly, the popularity of Zoom video conferencing is also growing, and with this Zoom has become an easy target of potential privacy and security issues. Crooks are using it to spread malware. And now the biggest security issue Zoom is facing is “ZoomBombing.”
But what is it? And why is it a big threat?
In this post, we will discuss ZoomBombing, how to stay protected and Zoom settings you need to change.
It’s not only Zoom video conferencing that is at target, but there’s also a Houseparty video conferencing app that’s in news for enabling Netflix account hacks. While there’s no way to know if the rumours are true or not there’s a way to improve overall privacy levels when using a video conferencing app like Zoom. Here’s what you need to do.
What is ZoomBombing?
A term coined two weeks ago to describe how malicious actors (Zoom raiders) are screen sharing offensive images to create trouble during Zoom meetings. They are using the virtual background to spread hate speech, share pornographic videos, etc.
To make this attempt a success Zoom raiders are using every feature of Zoom. Using the app’s custom background they are projecting GIF and using its annotation feature they are writing hate speech.
Our lecture got zoom bombed today ? #Zoombombed #zoombombing #zoombomb pic.twitter.com/S89gMuBD1G
— Will Williamson (@KingBrennymma) March 30, 2020
All this creating havoc and panic amongst Zoom users. Although the host can remove a participant at any time, identifying the culprits is hard, there can be many in a single call, or they can just switch from one dubbed name to another.
Since identifying the Zoom raider is not easy we can take certain steps that will help prevent ZoomBombing.
How To Prevent Being A Victim To ZoomBombing
By making certain tweaks in Zoom settings you can prevent ZoomBombing from taking place.
- Instead of using a Personal Meeting ID for Zoom meetings try using a random meeting ID. This can be generated by selecting Generate Automatically next to Meeting ID. Offered by Zoom this feature offers extra security. To know more about it click here.
- If you are the host of the Zoom meeting you can control screen sharing. To do so use the host control bar at the bottom of the screen. Click the arrow right to Share Screen > Advanced Options > “One participant can share at a time.”
- Use the “Waiting Room” feature to know who is trying to join the meeting before access is granted. This can be bypassed by a smart hacker but it certainly creates a hurdle. To enable Waiting Room head to Account Management > Account Settings > Meeting > Waiting Room. This will enable the Waiting Room setting. To know more about this feature click here.
- Disable option that allows users to Join Before Host. By default, this option is disabled but theirs is no harm in double-checking. Once done disable screen sharing and remote control for participants. Lastly, disable file transferring, autosave feature for chats and annotations. By clicking the gear-shaped icon, you can enter Zoom Settings and make the changes. To disable screen-sharing head to host controls at the bottom of screen > click the arrow next to Share Screen > Advanced Sharing Options > Who can share? > click Only Host. That’s it these simple steps will prohibit participants from sharing screen.
- Allow only signed-in users to join. This change in setting will surely help keep Zoom Raiders at one hand distance. With this, only the people invited to the meeting will be able to join in once they are logged in.
- Assign co-hosts once the meeting begins. This helps control the situation if anyone tries to bypass and gets into the Zoom meeting. To assign a co-host head to Settings > Meeting tab > scroll down to look for co-host and enable the option. When asked for verification Enable it.
- Head to Participants menu > look for the list of all participants. Click the name you want to remove; you will get a list option from which select Remove. Once unwanted people are kicked out they cannot rejoin. However, if a wrong person is removed you can make changes to the settings.
Automated Zoom conference meeting finder ‘zWarDial’ discovers ~100 meetings per hour that aren’t protected by passwords. The tool also has prompted Zoom to investigate whether its password-by-default approach might be malfunctioning https://t.co/dXNq6KUYb3 pic.twitter.com/h0vB1Cp9Tb
— briankrebs (@briankrebs) April 2, 2020
- If you use Outlook Calendar plug-in to host Zoom meetings make sure you make calendar entry private or delete Zoom meeting password because if it is public anyone who has access to it will know the password too.
- Update the Zoom app to get new Zoom settings that will password protect your instant meetings, new meetings.
- Some malware malicious software is developed to gain access to the mic, camera to prevent this from happening, switch off or disable all the extra peripheral when not in use.
- Use a VPN every time you connect to Wi-Fi with a PC or laptop this will create an encrypted tunnel. Thereby making it difficult for threat actors to get in.
- Keep yourself updated about the latest scams and how to stay protected from them.
- Most common of all avoid using default network password and enable 2FA for extra security.
Using these simple tips, you can stay protected from Zoom Raiders trying to do ZoomBombing. However, if the Zoom Raider is smart enough and can get in then?
What To Do If Your Zoom Meeting Is Being Attacked?
Despite making changes to the settings and being careful there are chances that your meeting can be hacked. In such a case try doing certain things explained below:
- Lock the meeting. To do so head to Participants List > scroll down for More option > Lock Meeting. This will stop unwanted participants from entering and allow you to remove the ones that were invited.
- Mute All Control for this either you or the co-host can head to the Participants List, scroll down and click Mute All Controls. This will stop the uninvited participants from using the microphone to interrupt your audio.
Good luck. Using these tips, you can certainly keep Zoom Raider at bay. Hackers are mostly targeting online classes, AA meetings, and private calls therefore you need to keep these points in mind to stay safe. The problem started because the user base of Zoom increased from 10 million to 200 million and hackers took advantage of it. But we can be smart and keep hackers at a distance by following the tips explained above.
Do share your thoughts with us about the article.