Singapore Orders Schools to Dump Zoom as Security Woes Mount

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In Brief
  • Singapore has reportedly suspended Zoom for e-learning.

  • This follows confirmed cases of Zoombombing in home-learning classes.

  • With the rise in privacy issues, several organizations have dumped Zoom for more secure platforms.

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Zoom’s issues have continued to rage on, as cases of hacked video chats and meetings have piled up over the past few weeks.

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The latest in the wave of company backlash, however, has been a blacklisting by authorities in Singapore.

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No More Zoom Calls

Singaporean authorities have ordered teachers to stop using Zoom after two schools reported cases of hacked video lessons and harassment on the platform, The Associated Press reports.

Known as “Zoombombing,” the phenomenon essentially describes a process where an unwanted party breaks into a Zoom video chat and disrupts the meeting by posting unsavory images.

Schools in Singapore are closed due to rising COVID-19 cases. However, many teachers have shifted their classes online using video conferencing app Zoom for e-learning.

Sadly, recent reports have revealed a growing trend of harassment and intrusion on several Zoom classes used by students, forcing the Singaporean government to suspend the use of the video calling app for teaching. AP cited a first-year geography class that ended abruptly after intruders gained access and showed obscene images to the students.

Singapore’s Ministry of Education has promised to investigate the incident and instructed school teachers to desist from using the platform until the issues are solved.

“We are already working with Zoom to enhance its security settings and make these security measures clear and easy to follow,” said Aaron Loh, director of the ministry’s Educational Technology Division.

Zoom’s Never-Ending Problems

Zoom’s constant privacy woes are well documented. However, reports of Zoombombing occurrences have skyrocketed. A similar incident occurred in a local school in Norway, where an intruder broke into the class to broadcast lewd images to children. Gaining into these Zoom groups is getting easier by the day.

There are also reports of compromised Zoom accounts being distributed on the dark web for free, providing more opportunities for internet trolls to break into Zoom meetings.

With the rise in privacy issues, several organizations have dumped Zoom for more secure platforms. Some of the popular names include Google, SpaceX, NASA, and others.

While the service still logs millions of users monthly — and will most likely see a spike in usage if the coronavirus pandemic continues its reign of terror — there’s an urgent need to fix these issues swiftly.

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Based in the UK, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and head-on experience in the cryptocurrency space. He has worked as a Bitcoin journalist and editor for the past five years. Jimmy has a degree in Economics and has honed his skills having worked cross-continental as a finance analyst, which gives him inter-cultural experience. He has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system. When he's not covering cryptocurrency news or working on reviews, he's watching football or playing COD. His work has appeared on popular networks like Bitcoin Magazine, MoneyCheck, YahooFinance!, and CCN. Follow him on Twitter: @adejimi

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