Indian government today joined the list of agencies that has come down on the use of Zoom, the videoconferencing platform, whose use had gone up in this global lockdown period.
Even as Zoom’s popularity grew world over, concerns were expressed over security flaws in it. Many governments and companies had issued an advisory against its use.
And today, India joined the bandwagon. In a tersely-worded advisory, Indian Home Ministry said “The platform is not for use by Government officers/officials for official purposes. Zoom is not a safe platform even for usage by individuals,” and added that a detailed advisory has already been issued by CERT-India, the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents. In an order issued on March 30, CERT-IN said the application was vulnerable to cyberattacks, including leak of sensitive data.
The advisory was particularly concerned over ‘insecure usage of the platform’. It may allow cyber criminals to access sensitive information such as meeting details and conversations, the advisory had said.
Zoom has been vulnerable to unauthorised entry into meetings by motivated hackers, and ‘Zoombombing’ quickly became a verb in tech circles.
But interloping by miscreants is smaller of the problem on Zoom. Governments and companies are more worried over the larger security aspect in the light of the fact that much of Zoom back-end research work happens from China, a place that these days doesn’t enjoy much credibility (over security) in tech matters. As a Home Ministry official was quoted as saying, the Zoom app has issues relating to both privacy and security.
Taiwan has already banned its use, while Australian intelligence unit has warned against utilising Zoom. Companies like Siemens, Standard Chartered have also curbed its employees from using the facility.