TECHNOLOGY

Zoom extends end-to-end encryption for phone and breakout rooms

Zoom has announced that it is extension of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) capabilities for Zoom Phone, with breakout rooms getting the same level of encryption in the near future.

Zoom Phone customers now have the option to upgrade to E2EE during one-on-one Zoom Phone conversations between users on the same Zoom account that take place through the Zoom client.

When users select “More” during a call, they see an option to change the session to an end-to-end encrypted phone call. When enabled, Zoom encrypts the call using cryptographic keys known only to the caller’s and recipient’s devices. Users also have the option to verify E2EE status by providing each other with a unique security code.

To ensure that a Zoom Phone call is encrypted end-to-end, users need the account administrator to enable E2EE through the web portal. Callers must have the same Zoom account and can only make one-to-one calls. In addition, both callers must be using the Zoom Phone desktop or mobile client and both callers must have automatic call recording turned off. Public switched telephone networks (PSTN) are not supported.

End-to-end encryption for breakout rooms within larger meetings will ultimately provide users with the same experience as a standard E2EE meeting, except that each breakout room will have its own unique meeting encryption key.

You can use this feature when you want to add an extra layer of security to important private conversations, or when you want to have specific people together during an E2EE meeting.

Account owners and administrators can enable end-to-end encryption for meetings, requiring all meeting participants to join the meeting from within the Zoom desktop client, mobile app, or Zoom Rooms. Currently, enabling E2EE in a Zoom meeting disables a number of in-meeting features, including live streaming, live transcription, polling, and breakout rooms.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom came under fire after falsely claiming that its video calls were protected by E2EE. As a result of this inaccuracy, in addition to a number of other security flaws that were discovered, CEO Eric Yuan announced that the company would stop developing new features for 90 days to focus on its security efforts.

Zoom finally started rolling out end-to-end encryption for meetings in October 2020.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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