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Apple Rushes to Fix Zoom Security Flaw

What happened?

Apple has delivered a silent update to Macs, rectifying a security flaw in its Zoom web-conferencing service.

Security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh initially contacted Zoom on March 8, 2019 to report that a hidden web server (used to bypass user consent for automatically joining meetings) could be accessed by external users without permission, compromising webcam and voice usage.

Moreover, uninstalling Zoom did not resolve this security issue, as the hidden web server would reinstall Zoom onto the original operating system.

Source: Web Conferencing from SoftwareReviews, Report Published April 2019.

The hidden web server is now removed from all Macs through Zoom’s update. Clients can manually update Zoom through its download center, but since Zoom forced the update, manual updates may not be necessary.

Mac users who select “Always turn off my video” also have this webcam preference saved for all future calls. However, Zoom’s update does not fully account for Windows users, whose webcam may still be turned on when joining meetings automatically.

Our Take

Based on client feedback, SoftwareReviews ranks Zoom as tenth out of the 12 leading web conferencing vendors, with a composite score of 7.6/10. Having potentially compromised 750,000 companies worldwide, Zoom’s security issue could cement this ranking.

Source: Web Conferencing from SoftwareReviews, Report Published April 2019.

However, with this security issue resolved, Zoom could experience the service recovery paradox: clients will end up reporting higher satisfaction in end-user reports despite this setback. After all, SoftwareReviews lists Zoom as a leader in product innovation.

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