Zoom Bombing: How to Keep Intruders Out of Video Meetings

February 12, 2021 @ 6:00 AM
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2 min read

Video meeting company Zoom rolled out new options to counter the threat of “Zoom bombing.”

Suspending and Reporting

Zoom added two new security features in November 2020 that customers could use to address disruptive and uninvited callers, or Zoom bombers.

1. Suspend Participant Activities

This enables hosts and cohosts to suspend meeting functions, including video, audio, in-meeting chat and breakout rooms. If they choose that option, Zoom’s platform will ask attendees whether they would like to eject a Zoom-bombing user from the meeting and share any details, including but not limited to a screenshot.

Using this will remove the person from the call and notify Zoom’s Trust & Safety team. At that point, hosts and co-hosts can resume the meeting by turning functions back on one by one.

2. Reporting Disruptive Attendees

This enables users — not just hosts and co-hosts, but anyone in the meeting — to report disruptive behavior like Zoom bombing from within the Zoom client using the “Security” badge. All account owners and admins need to do is enable reporting for non-hosts in their web settings.

3. At-Risk Meeting Notifier

The release of these two features above complements the work of the At-Risk Meeting Notifier. The At-Risk Meeting Notifier scans social media posts and other websites for publicly shared Zoom meeting links. In the event it finds a link at risk of being disrupted by Zoom bombing, the tool alerts the account owner and provides guidelines for next steps. Those steps could involve canceling and rescheduling the meeting using a different meeting ID.

Understanding the Threat of Zoom Bombing

Zoom bombing is one of the most well-known risks with Zoom’s video meeting app. It’s when an uninvited guest joins a meeting when they might have discovered the meeting’s ID via a shared in a public forum. Threat actors can also try to guess a valid meeting ID, a tactic known as ‘war dialing’.

Once they’re inside, the attacker can mess with the meeting in several ways. For instance, they can hijack the meeting and then share inappropriate media or make insensitive comments.

Or, malicious actors could choose to remain quiet so they can spy on the meeting. In this way, they can get information such as who is involved, where they work and what they’re discussing. This in turn can be used to conduct other attacks, such as phishing campaigns in the future.

Zoom Security Best Practices

Researchers are constantly discovering new security threats and risks that affect Zoom and other video conferencing apps. Acknowledging that work, make an effort to implement updates for video conferencing software on an ongoing basis. Also, consider testing new features when the app developers make them available.

At the same time, organizations and users can take specific steps to minimize the threat of Zoom bombing or other meeting bombing. These security tips include not sharing meeting IDs on public websites such as social media platforms, using passwords to prevent anyone from joining a call, setting up waiting rooms to screen for unexpected guests and disabling automatic screen sharing. Lastly, remember you always have the option of ending a call if someone decides to hijack it.

David Bisson
Contributing Editor

David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley Security News and Associate Editor for Trip...
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