18.11.20

Zoom tackles ‘Zoom-bombing’ to protect meetings

Zoom

Zoom is actively tracking down potential ‘Zoom-bombers’ with a new feature that will alert meeting or conference hosts if their videocall is at risk.

The VC software provider has launched the At-Risk Meeting Notifier in response to attacks that have seen lessons, meetings and calls interrupted by third parties often sharing offensive or threatening messages. It works by scanning public posts on social media sites and other public online resources for Zoom meeting URLs and then informing account owners and administrators that other people may be able to access the scheduled call. 

Zoom will enable the new feature by default and won’t require any further information from users. The searches will be conducted using information it already holds such as meeting IDs. 

The move from Zoom comes after the software provider settled with the Federal Trade Commission over false encryption claims and amid other actions to increase security controls, including powers for moderators to remove or report disruptive meeting participants. 

Zoom-bombing incidents have plagued the videoconferencing provider with embarrassing headlines and user disruption since the platform’s popularity spiked alongside Covid-19 related lockdowns. They show little sign of abating with recent incidents alleged to include the disruption of a class held by a school in Boston with racist and sexually explicit content, and disruption of a Gonzaga University Black Student Union meeting with racial and homophobic slurs.