Zoom: Not suitable for use (AES-128 in ECB mode)

Citizen Lab, a research team from the University of Toronto, was able to see what is happening behind the encryption used by the Zoom application.

In one Publication of the group, it is stated that the platform is not suitable for the exchange of secrets, nor for governmental or business uses. Citizen Lab found that Zoom uses its own encryption program as a custom extension to the real-time transfer protocol.


Furthermore, instead of using AES-256 encryption, the researchers found that the application uses an AES-128 key in electronic code book (ECB) mode.

"The encryption and decryption used by Zoom is AES in ECB mode, which is a very bad idea, because this way of encryption preserves the standard data. "Industrial streaming media encryption standards require the use of AES in Segmented Integer Counter Mode or f8-mode, which do not have the same weakness as the ECB," said the Citizen Lab team.

The research team also stated that they discovered a "serious security issue" in the waiting room of the application and that they revealed it to the company. The researchers said that they would provide more information at some point, but until then they suggest users of the application not to use this feature, and to use passwords for their meetings.

This vulnerability is especially important as uninvited users can enter a meeting and post annoying content.

In an immediate response to Citizen Lab's warning, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan admitted that the company's encryption was degraded.

"We know we can do better with encryption design. "Due to the unique needs of our platform, our goal is to use best encryption practices to provide maximum security, while covering the wide range of usage cases we support," he said.

"We are working with external experts and will also seek feedback from our community to ensure that our platform is optimized."

Last week, Zoom said it needed 90 days to improve the security of its products, after all from a series of complaints he received.

Citizen Lab also found that the application used server-side encryption keys in China to participants outside of China.

"A company used primarily by North American customers that sometimes distributes encryption keys through servers in China is a potential error, as Zoom may be legally required to disclose those keys to the Chinese authorities," the report said.

Of course, Yuan said that the company will correct this issue as well.

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