Recent 'Zoom-bombing' incidents cause FBI to raise alarm

Video-conferencing program Zoom sparks security concern over Chinese connections

(Unsplash image)

(Unsplash image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Video-conferencing software Zoom has gained unprecedented popularity amid the coronavirus outbreak due to the increase in employees working remotely, but it has recently come under fire for its substantial Chinese connections, sparking security and privacy concerns.

Founded by Chinese-American Eric Yuan (袁征) in 2001, Zoom Video Communications is headquartered in California but has an engineering team largely based in China to reduce human resources costs, reported CNBC. The company has established multiple development centers in Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Hefei, wrote CNA.

The FBI raised the alarm on March 30 over multiple “Zoom-bombing” incidents in the U.S., in which online video conferences were hijacked and disrupted by disconcerting images, including pornography.

The Intercept also revealed that Zoom had falsely claimed it supports end-to-end encryption, when in fact, the encryption keys used to gain access to online meetings are generated by a management system, leaving the possibility that Chinese authorities could force the company to disclose the keys. For that reason, researchers at the University of Toronto asserted that Zoom's services were “not suited for secrets,” according to the report.

NASA and SpaceX have banned their employees from using Zoom over the mounting privacy controversy. The cloud-based communications service provider is also facing a class-action lawsuit for sharing data with Facebook, reported Forbes.