Zoom: Privacy concerns with “screen sharing

In Corona times, programs like Zoom experience a real hype. This is hardly surprising. After all, they make it possible to conduct video conferences quickly and easily. But when it comes to execution, the programs differ from each other to some extent. This is especially true for features such as so-called “screen sharing”. At Zoom, some users have now complained about problems that will raise privacy concerns for one or the other. Thus, when trying to share only individual windows with the other participants, other windows have also been displayed in the Zoom conference.

Windows and Linux affected

The problem of incorrectly sharing screen content affected users of Windows computers as well as Linux users. When an attempt was made to share only a selected area of the screen, the entire screen was partially revealed. This is a highly worrying problem, especially in the professional, work environment. The problem probably occurs when the window that is to be split is overlaid by another application. Even if the overlaying application is not supposed to be shared, it is then displayed. Although the unwanted transmission only happens for a brief moment, Zoom’s rewind function means that any participant can return to the affected location.

Company from Tübingen identified problem

The Tübingen-based company SySS GmbH discovered the bug within Zoom. Naturally, the penetration testers (pentest) passed on the corresponding bug to those responsible at Zoom. This is said to have happened already before Christmas. The deadline for fixing the problem, which was started at that time, has expired in the meantime. Accordingly, SySS GmbH has fulfilled its obligation and has now pointed out the bug to the public. If and when Zoom will fix the bug is still uncertain. If you like to use Zoom, it is important to keep the problem in mind. It is best to make sure that the screen to be transferred is not overlapped by other applications. This is especially true if you are conducting a professional video conference and not a private one.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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