Putting safeguards in place: Zoom hires former Facebook security chief to beef up privacy, safety

    Zoom has fallen prey to a whole number of hacks lately and has also had to revise its privacy policy to deal with some glaring loopholes
    By HT CORRESPONDENT
    | Updated on Apr 08 2020, 09:42 PM IST
    Former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos gives a keynote address during the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. July 26, 2017.
    Former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos gives a keynote address during the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. July 26, 2017. (REUTERS)
    Former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos gives a keynote address during the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. July 26, 2017.
    Former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos gives a keynote address during the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. July 26, 2017. (REUTERS)

    Zoom has not been having the best time lately. Despite being one the apps to garner a massive amount of popularity over the lockdown, the video-calling app has fallen prey to hackers and has had to revise its privacy policy to deal with some glaring loopholes.

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    To handle this crisis, Zoom has brought in former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos on as an adviser. They have also set up an advisory board to work on the app's security and privacy issues. Stamos coming on board, of sorts, follows the ex-Facebook employee asking Zoom to be more transparent and roll out a 30-day security plan in a series of tweets.

    Zoom CEO Eric Yuan called up Stamos and asked him to help build up the company's security, privacy and safety capabilities as a consultant.

    Also Read: Zoom privacy issue explainer: A timeline of what actually happened

    "Zoom has some important work to do in core application security, cryptographic design and infrastructure security, and I'm looking forward to working with Zoom's engineering teams on those projects," Stamos, now an adjunct professor at Stanford University, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

    Zoom has been facing tremendous backlash from across the globe with Taiwan and Germany putting restrictions on its use and Elon Musk's SpaceX banning the app over security concerns. Zoom has also been slapped with a class-action lawsuit.

    "It would be in Zoom's best interests to conduct a full scale investigation into the security lapses and provide a report of whether or not the lapses led to an actual compromise," said Theresa Payton, a former White House Chief Information Officer and currently CEO of Fortalice Solutions.

    To address these concerns, Zoom has formed a CISO Council, which includes chief information security officers of HSBC , NTT Data, Procore and Ellie Mae, to discuss privacy, security and technology issues. The company has also set up a board to advise Yuan on privacy issues. The initial members of this board include executives from VMware, Netflix, Uber and Electronic Arts.

    Zoom will also be hosting a weekly webinar, starting Wednesday at 10AM (Pacific Time), to provide privacy and security updates.

    (With agency inputs)

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    First Published Date: 08 Apr, 09:20 PM IST
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