German foreign ministry restricts use of Zoom over security concerns

German foreign ministry restricts use of Zoom over security concerns

The German Foreign Office has restricted the use of the video conference service Zoom to fixed-connection desktop computers because of “critical” weaknesses in security and data protection, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported Wednesday.

In a memo to employees quoted by the newspaper, it was stated that “based on media reports and our own findings, we have concluded that Zoom & # 39; s software has critical weaknesses and serious security and data protection concerns”. But since the system was widely used by the Ministry’s international partners, the memo said it is currently impossible to completely ban its use.

Zoom sees record usage because the coronavirus locking rules force millions of people to work from home or take school classes, but hired a top security officer from Facebook on Wednesday in response to concerns about the security of his system. “Zoom takes user security very seriously,” said a spokesperson in an email statement. “Zoom communicates with governments around the world and is focused on providing the information they need to make informed decisions about their policies.”

Taiwan has also told officials to stop using Zoom, while Switzerland has advised them to use Microsoft Teams and not Zoom as a fallback if Skype for Business, its main provider, becomes overloaded, a spokesperson said. Malefactors have managed to make Zoom video calls, take control of shared screens and post offensive content, a phenomenon known as “zoom bombing”.

A German government source confirmed the memo’s authenticity.

(This story has not been edited by staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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