Video conferencing platform Zoom has repeatedly faced scrutiny related to security and privacy issues over the past few weeks. In response, the company has released multiple updates to the app, greatly improving its overall security. Now, it is making it mandatory for all users to update the app to the latest version if they want to continue using the service.
In a blog post earlier this week, Zoom wrote that update to version 5.0 will be mandatory by May 30, 2020. Zoom apps on Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows, as well as the web clients, will all need to be updated to the latest version.
Starting May 30, users with an older version of the app will not be able to join any meetings.
Update your Zoom app to version 5.0 before May 30
Zoom is upgrading its encryption to standard AES 256-bit GCM (Galois/Counter Mode) with the version 5.0. On May 30, GCM encryption will be fully enabled for all meetings.
All Zoom accounts will also be cut over to the new encryption standard. So, for users to be able to a meeting, they must upgrade to the latest version of the app.
The Zoom Rooms Controller, meanwhile, will only receive the enhanced encryption on June 30, 2020. Zoom Rooms Controllers not running the minimum required versions will stop functioning post that.
The company has explicitly mentioned that users must be on version 4.3.33237.0925 or newer for Android, version 4.3.33237.0924 or newer for iOS, and version 4.3.13234.0925 or newer for Windows ecosystems.
Zoom previously deployed the AES-256 ECB encryption standard. The new AES 256-bit GCM doesn’t yet offer full end-to-end encryption but is still better than the outgoing standard. The platform plans to offer end-to-end encryption to paying users soon.
The version 5.0 also brings several other security enhancements to this popular video conferencing platform. It now allows Zoom account admins and meeting hosts to choose which data center regions their meetings will use for real-time traffic.
A new security icon now groups all the security settings in one place. The icon in the meeting menu bar provides the host with the ability to unlock/lock meetings, remove or report a participant, and enable/disable waiting rooms, in-meeting chat, participant renaming, and screen sharing.
If the hosts are leaving, they can reassign the host role to another participant within the meeting. Hosts will also require a participant’s consent to unmute a Zoom Room.
Going forward, Zoom plans to add features like turning off call history by default. Meetings will display non-video participants via their avatar by default. You can download Zoom 5.0 from here.