Zoombombing, the irruption that stalks videoconferences


During the pandemic and thanks to video calls, your workspace is no longer the office, but wherever you are. However, zoombombing has jeopardized the confidentiality of the information shared in them.. Do you know if you are protected against this threat?

Regardless of the company you work for, safety is the key to your work. That’s why we’ll tell you about zoombing and some ways to avoid it.

What is zoombombing?

Zoombombing is the unauthorized intrusion into a virtual meeting or conference. The objective of the people who carry it out can range from annoying for fun and spreading pornography to stealing sensitive or valuable data in intellectual and monetary terms.

It is worth mentioning that the problem is not necessarily a security flaw in platforms such as Zoom, but rather the handling of links to meetings, given that sometimes they are shared in public spaces or do not have sufficient security options activated.

In fact, if the conference is made public, anyone can track it down with a simple Google search starting with “zoom.us”. Therefore, cybersecurity experts point out that a reliable solution is to create customized links.

However, this is almost impossible to do as the number of guest users increases, since it requires a large investment of time, which is inefficient for any company.

<< Cybercrime, how to protect companies from attacks? >>

How to protect yourself from zoombing?

Using Zoom’s tools, it is possible to minimize the risk of being at the mercy of a hacker or someone just looking to disrupt. The host is the one who has to activate them when creating a new meeting, and thus have full control of the meeting.

1. Do not use your personal meeting ID

When creating a meeting you should always generate a random meeting ID. Why shouldn’t you choose your personal meeting ID? Because it can be leaked to the network, from where your meeting could be traced, so there is a chance that an outsider might show up unexpectedly.

2. Set a password for your meeting

Be sure to set a secure password for Zoom to send to all guests. You can also create the meeting without setting a password, and then, shortly after starting, update the meeting already with the password.

You can send it separately, via email, or in a closed group of a social network such as WhatsApp. Remember: do not send a password through the feed or on a non-private account.

3. Use the Zoom waiting room function.

By activating this option you will have full control to decide on each of the requests to enter the meeting, since a virtual queue is formed and you give or deny access to each person. In case you don’t recognize someone, don’t let them in; this way you will be free from any kind of zoombing.

4. Disable audio and video sharing options.

By deactivating the “Reactivate microphone by themselves” and “Start video” options for all meeting guests, you can check who is connected and prevent any of them from projecting an unwanted image or playing audio with disturbing content.

To do so, when the video call starts, click on “Participants”, located on the bottom bar of the Zoom meeting screen. Then, in the menu that opens on the right side of the screen, look for the “More” button. Click on the options just mentioned to deactivate them.

5. Disable the screen sharing permission

For a zoombing to be successful it must take visual control of the meeting. Therefore, as a default option, do not let anyone share your screen unless they ask for your express permission during the video call.

To do so, when the meeting is running, click on the “Screen Sharing” option in the lower menu bar. There click on the small arrow on the side to open the video options, and then select “Advanced sharing options”.

Finally, make sure that only you as the host can share the screen, as shown below.

Disables zoombombing

In summary, dealing with zoombing requires:

  • That Zoom offers higher levels of security.
  • Follow the recommended actions before and during a meeting.
  • Promote professionalism, responsibility and ethics among the members of the company, so that, among other things, they do not share the link of a meeting with a user outside the organization.

Does your company use Zoom for its virtual business meetings? Have you ever been a victim of zoombing? What security protocols do you have in place to protect the information you share during a video call?

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Originally published in Jorge Pérez Colin Blog

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