Zoom, version 5.0 of the video conferencing app is coming: safer and more attentive to privacy. Here are the news


With the outbreak of the pandemic, the lockdown in many parts of the world and the consequent need to work from home, videochat programs have experienced unexpected success. The massive influx of users, however, has highlighted the numerous fragility, subjecting development teams to challenges they were probably not prepared for. Of all, Zoom it is perhaps the most striking example, being the app that has experienced the greatest success, but also the one most tormented by bugs and vulnerabilities they put at risk user privacy and security. However, the company has been able to respond well, by working on patches and new versions. In particular, version 30 will arrive on May 30th, highly recommended on the official blog since will contain many news related to security.

The changes are so important that they actually push the developers in the post to underline that, starting from May 30th, it will be mandatory to use the latest version to participate in any video chat sessiontherefore implying that anyone who does not update promptly will be cut off.

In particular, lthe main novelty concerns the adoption of a new and much more robust data encryption system. In fact, initially Zoom used 128-bit AES-ECB keys, an obsolete system, while with version 5.0 it will switch to the most current, and much safer, 256-bit AES-GCM, a solution that is also particularly suitable for video streaming .

Apart from this, room administrators will have a new tool, a Security icon similar to the one already introduced for users, which will allow them to block and unblock meetings, enable and disable waiting rooms, enable or disable chat in Rooms, allow participants to be renamed, enable or disable screen sharing, and finally report or remove individual participants to a videochat.

Those who organized a room can also now leave it, passing control to another user. The latter will be displayed in a convenient pop-up list in alphabetical order, with any co-hosts at the top of the list. Finally, with the new version of Zoom, when the administrator of a room will try to reactivate the audio of all the participants, the latter will have to explicitly accept or reject the request, interacting with a pop-up notice.

All these news should finally remedy the problems highlighted in the past months, among which the most striking was certainly the so-called Zoombombing, in which video calls and private chats can be easily “invaded” from outside by hackers and attackers who can interact, usually with disturbing actions that can range from viewing harmless “memes” to pornographic images, insults and various obscenities. However, this is only the latest in a series of steps aimed at improving Zoom’s security, which already at the beginning of the month had introduced several interesting functions, aimed precisely at correcting bugs and vulnerabilities and at strengthening the security of the program.

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