US Senate bars its members from using Zoom for meetings

by Anmol
April 9, 2020

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The US Senate has become the latest organization to tell its members not to use Zoom. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom has been used by organizations and individuals around the world. However, the company has been under a microscope as several security vulnerabilities were discovered in the app. To the company’s credit, the company has responded quickly to the vulnerabilities and has paused all feature updates to patch the flaws in the app.

That, however, didn’t stop the US Senate from asking all its personnel to stop using Zoom. The Financial Times reports that the Senate has “warned all senators against using the service.” A person familiar with the matter said that the warning stated that the offices should find an alternative for remote meetings. The person also stated that the warning was just “short of officially banning the company’s products.”

Last month the FBI warned that they have received reports of calls getting hijacked by intruders. According to Reuters, The Department of Homeland Security told cybersecurity officials that the company is responding positively to the threat and is working on patching the loopholes to prevent hackers from exploiting Zoom. The Pentagon, on the other hand, told Financial Times that it will allow its personnel to use Zoom.

Zoom has been one of the rare winners in the coronavirus pandemic but the company has been facing backlash for not protecting its users properly. Earlier this week, the Taiwan government banned the use of the app following the various security breaches and Zoombombing. SpaceX and Google have also decided not to use the app for their internal meetings. Several schools have also isssued advisories or have banned the app citing privacy concerns. Yesterday, the company reached out to HSBC, NTT Data, Procore, Ellie Mae and others to help it fix the problem. Zoom has also reached out to VMware, Netflix, Uber, Electronic Arts, and hired ex-CSO of Facebook to set up an advisory board to clean up the privacy mess.

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