Zoom has surely received a lot of fame during the social isolation period but every day, there are new questions about the security and privacy of the application. The video conference website was questioned recently about their end-to-end encryption but it turns out there are more loopholes than you can imagine. Source: Mashable According to BleepingComputer, Zoom allows hackers to get access to the user's Windows login information. This happens because Zoom converts Window networking UNC (Universal Naming Convention) paths into clickable links. So if you click on such a link, your Windows will reveal the password and login username to the attacker. The only good news is that the leaked password is hashed but how long can that encryption last? Password recovery tools are available everywhere today and can easily decipher the code with apps such as Hashcat. Source; Gadgets.ndtv This loophole was discovered by security researcher @_g0dmode and another security researcher, Matthew Hickey confirmed it. Hickey also informed the users that if anyone is trying to hack your computer, they can easily launch programs on the system using this vulnerability. The good thing is that Windows, by default, will notify you of the breach before it opens the sent program. Out of all the worst things we have found about Zoom so far, this fault tops all because it's a no-brainer. Anyone with even surface knowledge of programming can use it to manipulate the data of the victim’s computers and there is nothing much you can do. Source: Tech Crunch The only way to stop it is to not click on unknown links and use the filter in Windows security settings so you are informed about any such situation beforehand. However, Zoom still needs to take the issue into account and modify the way their chat handles links. Meanwhile, if you want to stay safe, follow the instructions mentioned below and make your computer secure. Go to Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options -> Network security: Restrict NTLM: Outgoing NTLM traffic to remote servers and set to "Deny all". As the popularity of the application grows, hackers are having a field day with all the privacy issues that make Zoom users an easy target. The website can leak your pictures from the cloud to unknown parties due to numerous glitches in their software so they should fix all the problems soon before the data from their app is compromised.
We have some bad news for all the Android users of Dark Sky. Apple has acquired the popular weather application and will close down the access for Android and Wear OS users in July as reported by Dark Sky in a blog post.Source: Mashable “Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy,” Dark Sky co-founder Adam Grossman writes in the post. “There is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.” Source: Twitter The Dark Sky application would not experience any changes for iOS “at this time” but it is available on the App Store for $3.99. However, if you are an Android user you will no longer be able to download it or even use it on Wear OS. If you already have it, then make the most out of it because they will be shutting it down on July 1st for all the other platforms. But what about the subscription? Many people have already subscribed to the application for the entire year but don’t worry, you will receive a refund soon, according to Grossman. Source: idownloadblog Dark Sky’s API will operate “through the end of 2021” but as Grossman noted, it would not allow new sign-ups to use that API. This means that if your weather application uses information from Dark Sky, it would not be able to access it anymore. So all your forecasts, maps, and other data would be limited till July 1st and the website will function after that date “in support of API and iOS App customers”. You can check out their website and see that the branding has been updated to “Dark Sky by Apple.”
The application, Zoom has become quite popular recently as more and more businesses are moving towards work from home. However, many employees are worried whether their boss can monitor most of their activities on the system or not. Previous researches have revealed Zoom to be an unsafe platform but due to lack of options, people are forced to use it for work and online learning. Source: Metro The policy of privacy on the website and in its security white paper states that Zoom has end-to-end encryption for the meetings so people should not be worried about the security of the application. However, new research from The Intercept proved it to be a lie. A spokesperson from Zoom was questioned by The Intercept about the security of the video conferences and whether they support end-to-end encryptions or not. The spokesperson said, “Currently, it is not possible to enable E2E encryption for Zoom video meetings.” Well, so why does it say the opposite on the website? Source: The Intercept Basically, the application uses TLS encryptions that have a similar approach to those that companies use to secure HTTP websites. This means that whatever data is exchanged between you and other Zoom’s servers is protected just like the content on Gmail and Facebook. However, end-to-end encryption means that your information is not even visible to the company itself like WhatsApp states on its website and in every chatbox. So this particular feature is not supported by Zoom and this is why using the term “end-to-end encryption” is quite unethical. However, unsurprisingly, Zoom stresses that they are not misleading the users. A spokesperson said, “When we use the phrase ‘End to End’ in our other literature, it is in reference to the connection being encrypted from Zoom endpoint to Zoom endpoint,” and that “content is not decrypted as it transfers across the Zoom cloud.”Source: The Intercept The in-meeting text chat on Zoom does support end-to-end because according to the company, they cannot decrypt the messages exchanged between the users. The spokesperson also said that the data collected from the users usually resolves around IP addresses, OS details in device details and this is done solely to optimize performance. So, employees do not have any contact with the information that users transfer in their chat boxes and therefore, there is no chance of any sort of data being sold. However, when they were questioned about being forced to share the information for legal proceedings by the authorities, Zoom refused to give a statement.
Hospitals are understaffed and the equipment needed to fight against coronavirus is less than what is needed as manufacturers find it difficult to meet the growing demands. Source: FordBecause of this, many tech companies are offering their assistance in making the ventilators that are needed to treat the patients of COVID-19. The latest automaker that has offered their services is Ford that is going to start making the equipment as soon as they get the design. On Monday, they announced that they will start manufacturing ventilators for General Electric’s health care division which has approved a ‘simple’ design that is not powered by a Florida ventilator company called Airon. Source: Tech crunch Since the coronavirus pandemic has broken out in the world, Ford began to work with GE to assist them in making their own ventilators. Furthermore, it has stated that the automaker will lend their services to Airon to increase the production of the equipment as they are already helping in making masks and other protective gear for workers in the health care sector. Ford was also one of the companies that were shut down immediately due to coronavirus but they have resumed operation in Ypsilanti, Michigan where 500 United Auto Workers-represented volunteer employees will be paid to make ventilators. They will begin their work around 20th April after getting the approval and have estimated the production of about 1500 ventilators by the end of the month. Further figures suggest that the automaker will continue to produce around 12,000 ventilators by the end of May, 50,000 by July and if the trend continues, their production will reach the rate of 30,000 per month.Source: Business Insider Director of Ford’s global manufacturing core engineering division, Adrian Price has said that the unpowered ventilator design is “absolutely robust in terms of its capability” so it will be easier to make. As far as the employees who would be working to produce these ventilators are concerned, Ford stated that it would partner up with UAW to come up with strategies to screen them. They would also maintain social distancing at all times with the help of barriers, shield and other protective gears. Price notified that they would “also be looking at deploying new technology that can help us in the fight on COVID-19” but no further details have been disclosed.
Coronavirus has caused many schools to introduce online learning among students and this is why applications like Zoom are being employed to teach the syllabus efficiently. However, the online platforms have faced problems in the last two weeks as the video conferences were hijacked.Source: NBC Boston The FBI in Boston has issued a warning for all the schools as this would cause invasion of privacy for institutions for children. Basically, “Zoom Bombing” happens when a third party who is not invited to a conference appears during the video or voice call and displays hate content or graphic images on the application. Right now, people are more susceptible to such hijacking as along with schools, businesses have also moved their work to the application. The FBI notified that two schools were compromised due to this in the last two weeks and as more people will use Zoom in the near future, the risk would also increase. Source: Newark Now In one case, the online class was interrupted when an unknown individual entered the video chat and screamed abuses and yelled out the teacher’s home address. This was scary and the person still remains anonymous. In the second video call, a different school was targeted as an unknown individual displayed swastika tattoos during the live teleconference. Both of these incidents are really disturbing and till the FBI works to catch the culprits, they have released a set of guidelines that could help in keeping the hackers at bay. • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private; require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests. • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people. • Manage screen sharing options. In Zoom, change screen sharing to “Host-Only.” • Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join. • Lastly, ensure that your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security. So follow these guidelines to keep your classrooms safe.
The whole world is now using applications like Zoom for video conferences and business meetings. Well, staying online to attend such calls can be boring especially when you are sitting in your pyjamas and eating peanut butter right out of the jar. So we have compiled some of the best hacks and features on Zoom that can help you make your video conferences smooth!This list will also be useful for those people who are struggling to use Zoom so keep an account of all the features mentioned below and make the online experience refreshing. Source: Mashable Change the Background You can have a lot of fun with Zoom backgrounds while chatting with your friends. The Zoom wallpaper on the screen can be changed to any colour, meme or cartoon so utilise the feature when you are taking screenshots to post on Instagram and Snapchat. Right now, everyone has become lazy so if you do not want your friends to see your messy bedroom, just change it to any virtual appearance, ranging from the sky to a beach. Source: Zoom How to do it? 1. Click on the little arrow next to the "Stop Video" button in the lower-left 2. Then click "Choose Virtual Background" 3. Once you're in there, click the little plus sign to add an image or, no joke, a video. Know your Hotkeys Zoom has a lot of built-in keys that can take away the use of mouses or trackpads. So you just have to click on those and can pretty much operate the application without any indicator. Features between Mac and Windows differ but the key idea is the same. If you are a Mac user and want to shut off the camera, just use Command+Shift+V. V is for video so it is easy to remember! Same rules apply for other shortcuts so if you want to shut off the mic, you can use M and press S for the screen. No Zoom Time Limits Like every video chat, Zoom also has a time limit. So after every 40 minutes, your call ends and this can be a problem for people who are staying at home and want to gossip for 3 hours straight with their friends. Zoom does have a feature for limitless calls but unfortunately, you have to pay for the subscription. The easiest hack is to end the call and restart it by adding the same people in it. If you are in China or the United States, the restriction for 40 minutes has been lifted so you are kind of lucky but other folks have to use the traditional hack. Look Nice on ZoomSource: Zoom This is probably the most pretentious feature but we have to inform you about it. Many business meetings happen on short deadlines so you do not have time to make your sleepy face “presentable”. For this, Zoom has a solution. You can go to the videos section in the settings menu and click on the ‘Touch Up My Appearance’ feature. Zoom says that this makes your appearance a little smoother to people on the other end of the call. So take advantage of these hacks and get down to business meetings or school lectures!