The Zoom video conferencing platform has launched a new feature that can alert the conference organizer when an online meeting is in danger of being disrupted by an unwanted hacking attacks called Zoombombing, which has been a major problem for the company throughout the year.
Zoom now allows you to pause the meeting so that you can dismiss annoying individuals, the company announced in a blog post.
This new feature is known as “At-Risk Meeting Alert”, a service that works across Zoom’s servers and is constantly searching for links to platform meetings via public posts within social media platforms and other public sites.
When the “At-Risk Meeting Alert” feature finds an address for a Zoom conference, it automatically sends an email to the conference organizers with a warning that other people may be able to access and possibly disable the conference.
Zoombombing attacks usually occur after a participant shares a link to a Zoom meeting – and sometimes his password – via social media platforms, Discord channels, or Reddit forums, and asks others to disable the conference.
This type of attacks became a widespread phenomenon in March of this year, when the platform, due to the Corona pandemic, became an online communication tool for families, schools, companies and government agencies.
The platform imposed meeting passwords and added a button to report a spammy participant, but the attacks continued, primarily driven by participants anonymously sharing links and passwords for private online conferences.
With the new feature, Zoom hopes to reduce some of the disruptions that still occur today, even before they happen.
The new feature is enabled by default and users do not need to take any action on their account.
When participants’ activities are suspended by pressing the security icon during a call, all breakout rooms are closed, and the Zoom platform suspends video, audio, chat, screen sharing, and recording, which stops the attacker’s activity.
After reporting the intended user to the Zoom security team and removing them from the meeting, the host can choose which aspects of the conference to continue.