Zoom 5.0 update bolsters encryption, adds meeting security features

After a month of criticism, a promised update for Zoom has arrived, introducing stronger encryption and resolving a number of past issues with the platform, including “Zoombombing”.

Updating Zoom on Wednesday is a first step towards a broader 90-day security plan.

The zoom was the choice of most people for videoconferencing during the coronavirus, but has been plagued by privacy and security concerns since its surge in popularity. Zoom said on Wednesday that it had fixed some of these issues.

The new update to Zoom 5.0, for example, introduces AES 256-bit GCM encryption, which the company says will provide “added protection” for data in transit and resistance to tampering.

Previously, Zoom misled customers about end-to-end encryption claims. Even though Zoom says its upgrade from GCM encryption is better, it still doesn’t claim that it is end-to-end encrypted.

To combat the so-called “Zoombombing” phenomenon, which involves bad actors joining a meeting to which they were not invited, Zoom has introduced certain room control features, such as the ability to delete and ban attendees, lock meetings, flag users, and activate waiting rooms while a meeting is in progress.

Other security and privacy features include a new grouped security menu, default password-protected meetings, and removing meeting IDs from the Zoom interface, making it harder for callers to disclose them.

Although initially scheduled for release on April 22, the Zoom 5.0 update has been delayed until April 29. The company says it’s the first step in a larger “90-day plan” to reorganize security and private standards for the platform.

All users must have GCM and Zoom 5.0 encryption to participate in meetings on May 30.

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