LACCD addresses zoombombing

By Russell Navarrette

The Los Angeles Community College District’s Chief Information Security Officer Patrick Luce released a written statement April 9 regarding Zoom’s security and privacy issues.

“Its (Zoom’s) meteoric rise that has drawn intense scrutiny of its security and privacy controls by security experts, the media, its competitors, and most unfortunately, hackers and miscreants,” Luce said.

The trend that is raising concerns about Zoom’s security and privacy issues is zoombombing. Zoombombing is when an uninvited person joins and interrupts a Zoom meeting. Examples of zoombombing can be found on Youtube and Instagram.

William H. Boyer, Director of Communications and External Relations, said, “There is nothing going on, our message was preventive in nature, based on the outside trend of zoombombing. We (LACCD) have had no such incidents that I am aware of and we wish to keep it that way.”

Not only is Zoom being scrutinized for its security issues but it is also being sued for allegedly sharing user’s personal data with Facebook, reported on April 1 by CBS News.

On April 14 a report came out by ABA Journal that a new lawsuit was filed against Zoom for “failing to protect user data from Facebook and LinkedIn.”

The possible charges against Zoom are unjust enrichment, intrusion upon seclusion, invasion of privacy, unfair business practices and trespass to owners’ computers and mobile devices.

Zoom’s website security settings can be adjusted to help optimize security concerns like zoombombing.

Hosts can set passwords at the individual meeting level and at the user, group or account level for all meetings.

There are also meeting settings like removing participants. The host of the conference meeting can select a participant’s name and the remove option, along with several other options, will appear.

Zoom’s settings page also has a statement that recommends users submit a vulnerability report to if experiencing any security issues.

Despite Zoom’s controversial security and privacy issues, according to Patrick Luce’s statement, the Office of Information Technology currently recommends that Zoom continue to be used by the LACCD.

The district will work with California Community Colleges (CCC), the state and federal departments of education and educause to monitor the progression on improving Zoom’s security and privacy system.

Educause is a non-profit association of technology, academic, industry progressing higher education through the use of IT.

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