Broker Check

Beware of Zoom!

| May 13, 2020

Zoom has been one of the biggest benefactors of this Covid-19 crisis.  Businesses, churches, associations, and private individuals have enjoyed the great video conferencing features of Zoom enabling them to stay connected.  I almost took a subscription until I found out the scary side of Zoom.  Initially, I only saw the hype and value of Zoom’s technology.  The stock has gone crazy.  It has brought in millions of users.  Zoom has been a great means in conducting meetings during this Covid-19 confinement period.  It seems to be pretty easy to use. Even elderly persons (80-90 years old) and the non-computer savvy are “zooming in from home” so they can attend church services, bible studies and book clubs.

I was warned by a family member when we were attempting to have a family get together via our computers and phones possibly using Zoom.  That person flatly refused to go anywhere near Zoom. He does sensitive work and did not want to expose his devices to Zoom.  He is not someone who makes things up and researches everything. 

I did some research myself and was shocked.  I found that using Zoom could pave the way to hacking and data gathering by China.  Several months ago, the FBI issued a warning on various security and counterintelligence issues with Zoom.  Well-known companies and governments have banned the use of Zoom because of Zoom’s data gathering on users.  Researchers who use Zoom may be especially targeted by China.  May 13, 2020, the FBI warned that China-linked hackers are targeting US coronavirus vaccine research.  This warning did not specifically mention Zoom.  Weeks prior, I did see that researchers using Zoom were targeted by these hackers.  While Zoom is an “American” company and is traded on the NASDAQ exchange, the software may have been developed by several Chinese companies.   

Who knows what back doors have been buried within Zoom’s architecture?  You don’t have to believe me.  Do the research yourself on Zoom security issues. You will see that Zoom had a number of fixes over the past several months.  Does that mean there aren’t others lurking within the software? Inquire if Zoom software was developed in China.  If you use Zoom you might consider options for video conferencing.   In the meantime, I am in the process of finalizing what company I will use for my video internet presence.  It will not be Zoom.