Zoom can now tell you if your meeting is at risk of attack

(Image credit: Zoom)

Video conferencing tool Zoom has announced the release of two new security features to help participants remove meeting intruders, as well as revealing one of its most important internal security tools. Unfortunately, for some individuals, the answer to the question, What is Zoom? is that it is a method of disrupting company meetings.

The new security features should limit opportunities for so-called "Zoombombing" attacks in the future. The first lets hosts temporarily pause their meeting and remove disruptive participants. By clicking “Suspend Participant Activities,” all meeting features will cease, including screen sharing, recording and Breakout Rooms.

It is then simply a case of reporting the relevant users, who will then be removed from the meeting. Zoom’s Trust and Safety team will also be informed. The meeting can then be resumed with all the relevant features re-enabled. Alternatively, meeting participants are now able to report disruptive users directly from the Zoom client by clicking the security badge located in the top-left corner.

Bombs away

In addition, Zoom also disclosed more information about an internal tool it uses that will hopefully prevent meetings from being disrupted in the first place. The At-Risk Meeting Notifier scans social media posts and other public online activity to find shared Zoom meeting links.

If a link is found, the host will receive an email immediately informing them that they may want to create a new meeting ID, enable security settings or use a different video conferencing platform. The decision is ultimately left up to the meeting host, but a publicly accessible meeting ID is likely to attract an online disruptor or two.

Since the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a huge uptick in the use of video conferencing tools, online trolls have decided that it would be funny to hijack meetings – often being secretly invited by participants that have shared the private meeting ID. Zoom’s new security tools should make that more of a challenge.

Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.