The ministry of government’s warning has come after India’s nodal cyber security agency Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-in) also had cautioned against the vulnerability of the video conferencing app.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also has warned the Zoom app users that the video-conferencing application is not safe for the usage for secured conferencing. The video meeting app has become quite popular across the globe as more and more workers are now working from home during the lockdown period now. Several other countries have also expressed concern about the security issues of the application. We noticed that, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan have already banned the application in their countries.

“Zoom is a not a safe for secured video conferencing platform,” the Cyber Coordination Centre (CyCord) of ministry of home affairs said in a new 16-page advisory for this.

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The Indian govt’s warning comes after the India’s nodal cyber security, CERT-in had cautioned against the vulnerability of the app. The agency has also pointed out that the app has significant weaknesses and it which can make users vulnerable to the cyber attacks, including “leakage of sensitive office information to criminals”.

In the new advisory of MHA has asked users that who would still like to use Zoom, to follow certain guidelines for safety purpose, including preventing unauthorized entry in the video conference room, preventing an unauthorized participant to carry out malicious activity. A DOS (denial-of-service) attack is done by the hackers to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users network.

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The govt has reissued new guidelines to follow after many users have complained about instances of leaked of the passwords and hackers hijacking video calls midway through the conferences.

MHA guidelines for safe usage:

  • Create a new user ID and password for each of the meeting.
  • Create a waiting room in the app so that a user will be able to enter the meeting only when the host gives him the permission.
  • Disable the meeting Join feature before hosting.
  • Allowing Screen sharing by Host only.
  • Disabling “Allow removed participants to re-join”
  • It is recommended to restrict or disable file transfer.
  • When all participants have joined, it has been advised to lock the meeting.
  • Restrict the recording feature.
  • To end meeting (not just leave, if you are an administrator)

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