Zoom Video Communications (Zoom) acquired Keybase, a secure messaging and file-sharing service, on May 7.
The acquisition of Keybase, according to Zoom, will help the company build a planned end-to-end encryption service. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Integrating the teams
Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom said: “There are end-to-end encrypted communications platforms. There are communications platforms with easily deployable security and there are enterprise-scale communications platforms. We believe that no current platform offers all of these. This is what Zoom plans to build, giving our users security, ease of use, and scale, all at once.
“The first step is getting the right team together. Keybase brings deep encryption and security expertise to Zoom, and we’re thrilled to welcome Max and his team."
Max Krohn, a Keybase.io co-founder, and developer, will be heading Zoom's security engineering team. He said: “Our team is passionate about security and privacy, and it is an honor to be able to bring our encryption expertise to a platform used by hundreds of millions of participants a day.”
As members of Zoom’s security engineering group, the Keybase team will help its new employer achieve its "90-day plan" to identify and fix any security flaws.
A statement on the company's website read: “As we do this work to further protect our users’ privacy, we are also cognizant of our desire to prevent the use of Zoom’s products to cause harm.
“We will continue to work with users to enhance the reporting mechanisms available to meeting hosts to report unwanted and disruptive attendees.
“Zoom does not and will not proactively monitor meeting contents, but our trust and safety team will continue to use automated tools to look for evidence of abusive users based upon other available data.”
A report issued to law enforcement by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Mission and Counterintelligence Mission centers argued that Zoom was vulnerable to intrusions, according to ABC News.
Zoom has even faced accusations that its platform left users vulnerable to foreign spies. According to US authorities, because one Zoom data center was located in China this gave Chinese spies the ability to hack US data. The video conferencing platform has stated that it housed all access to its clients' data in the US.
Around the same time, hackers also started to exploit security flaws in the platform in what was called “Zoom-bombing”. This is a type of prank where, despite no invite, strangers were able to enter a private video conference and shout out the details of the attendees, such as names and full addresses.