Zoom Vulnerability Could Let Third Parties Take Over Webcams

Zoom Vulnerability Could Let Third Parties Take Over Webcams

Regarding the new update, Zoom has partnered with Apple, which could be deployed automatically without any without the need for any additional user interaction.

Apple's update causes Zoom users who click on a conference link to receive a prompt requiring them to confirm they want to join.


After initially defending their decision to install insecure local web servers on Mac users' machines that posed a significant security risk and could be hijacked by attackers, teleconferencing app Zoom has backtracked and has stated it should quickly remove the "feature".

Security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh revealed this week that Zoom makes it possible for websites to add you to a call by activating your webcam without permission.


Apple earlier has often pushed silent signature updates to Macs to tackle known malware, similar to an anti-malware service however, it is very rare for Apple to take action publicly against a known and popular app. Apple is pushing an update to fix a problem with an above-board developer that has over four million users. It removed the local web server (crucial for the exploit) entirely on Mac devices. The update, first reported by TechCrunch, was confirmed to Information Security Media Group by Apple.

Zoom has now released a patch update to the app, which should prevent hackers from accessing your webcam. Even if you uninstalled Zoom, the web server persisted on your machine and could even reinstall the application automatically. "Zoom made a decision to remove the web server based on feedback from the security community and our users", it said. But it eventually walked back and released an emergency patch to remove the local web server completely. "But in hearing the outcry from some of our users and the security community in the past 24 hours, we have decided to make the updates to our service". "This was the most full-proof way to get this done so we appreciated Apple's collaboration in this matter", it says. Security best practices generally recommend public disclosure of major threats or vulnerabilities within a 90-day period, and the blog post suggested the company had not acted in a timely manner to protect its customers.


In a more detailed public statement, Zoom said admins and users will be able to turn off video if they configure their client video settings, and that preferences from their first Zoom meeting will be saved once they apply its July update.

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