Zoom and security of files

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Kissanminttu
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:27 pm

Zoom and security of files

Post by Kissanminttu »

Hi,

I was "forced" to download Zoom-programm (for distance communication) on my laptop because of my studies.
I have read that Zoom has several security problems. Do I have to protect my files with password if so, how can I do that?
I'm using Mint Cinnamon.

How can i use Zoom safety? I don't want to share any of my personal data or files with zoom. Do i have to fear spies?

User avatar
smurphos
Level 16
Level 16
Posts: 6837
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:18 am
Location: Britisher
Contact:

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by smurphos »

If these articles are accurate (the register isn't always in my experience) it's not a great app privacy wise...

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/04/0 ... spotlight/

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/03/2 ... m_privacy/
For custom Nemo actions, useful scripts for the Cinnamon desktop, and Cinnamox themes visit my Github pages.

User avatar
Colson P
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:33 pm

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by Colson P »

You are right, Zoom is not the best application privacy-wise, but you do have a solution. You can "sandbox" Zoom so it can't access anything outside the files it needs to run. To do this you can install and use Firejail, as specified in the article here:
https://www.linux.com/topic/desktop/lo ... firejail/
Once you run through the instructions in this article, you can open a terminal and run

Code: Select all

firejail zoom
This launches Zoom in a container.
Linux in a nutshell: xkcd https://xkcd.com/619/

Always remember to marked your posts as [SOLVED] when your problem has been resolved.
That way, others can use your post to solve their own problems.

User avatar
kukamuumuka
Level 16
Level 16
Posts: 6676
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:51 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by kukamuumuka »

You can make password-protected packages following way: Right mouse click above file or folder -> compress -> select zip and set password

PS. You cannot use ääkkösiä in the password.

Kissanminttu
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:27 pm

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by Kissanminttu »

I read that Firejail has caused many problems, is it so?

If i protect my files with password, is it possible that someone has already get on my files and sees the password i choose?
I have already used the zoom about the month and how can i be sure that some spies are not already messing up on my mint? # Foilhat

User avatar
kukamuumuka
Level 16
Level 16
Posts: 6676
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:51 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by kukamuumuka »

zip-passwords can crack, but who wants to use CPU time and energy for that?

I do not belive that someone would be intrested in students files.

Kissanminttu
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:27 pm

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by Kissanminttu »

But if somebody is already on my computer and sees what i write?

User avatar
Colson P
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:33 pm

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by Colson P »

After some research I found Firejail does have problems as well.

Here are some other options you have for increasing your security:
  • -Install another Linux onto a USB stick, install Zoom onto that stick, and remove permissions from the USB stick so it can't access the personal files on your HDD.
  • -provide as little information as possible to your account
  • -install a Linux virtual machine using Oracle VirtualBox and run Zoom in the VM. (my recommendation)
Linux in a nutshell: xkcd https://xkcd.com/619/

Always remember to marked your posts as [SOLVED] when your problem has been resolved.
That way, others can use your post to solve their own problems.

User avatar
kukamuumuka
Level 16
Level 16
Posts: 6676
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:51 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by kukamuumuka »

Kissanminttu wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:50 pm
But if somebody is already on my computer and sees what i write?
In that case there is nothing to do ... or maybe you give her/him + 16.0 eyeglasses. :?

User avatar
karlchen
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 12733
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Germany

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by karlchen »

Oh, I see that there is an ongoing discussion on "Zoom" and "security concerns" already.
Triggered by the current hype about "Zoom", which seems to become a new "must have", irrespective of its security issues of various kinds, and triggered by something, which my wife had come across in the media, I had been going to suggest that everybody, who considers using "Zoom", may want to do a Google search on zoom security concerns e.g. and perhaps revise their decision.
zoom security concerns
Image
Linux Mint 19.2 64-bit Cinnamon, Total Commander 9.22a 64-bit
Haß gleicht einer Krankheit, dem Miserere, wo man vorne herausgibt, was eigentlich hinten wegsollte. (Goethe)

User avatar
lsemmens
Level 10
Level 10
Posts: 3422
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:07 pm
Location: Rural South Australia

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by lsemmens »

Thanks Karl, I have passed that on to the IT department of our Church who are running Zoom meetings across all campuses.
Fully mint Household
Out of my mind - please leave a message

User avatar
thx-1138
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2101
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:15 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by thx-1138 »

...note 1: "Zoom is BAD!" all over the net (right after it's usage skyrocketed due to lockdown).
And what are the usual 'more-or-less alternatives'? Let's see...
Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts. Ahhhh...
Excellent choices all of them, may i add. Food for thought probably.

...note 2: "In March 2019, Zoom filed to go public on the NASDAQ; on April 18, 2019, the company went public,
with shares up more than 72%, with an Initial public offering of US$36 a share.
The company was valued at just under US$16 billion by the end of its IPO."

"Zoom's closed source software is claimed to be compliant with FedRAMP, HIPAA, PIPEDA and PHIPA, and the GDPR."

"Zoom claims to use Advanced Encryption Standard 256-bit (AES 256) encryption."

Right. All info straight from Wikipedia.
You find me a single reputable cryptographer who will even dare suggesting,
that 'insert-whatever-closed-src' product that can't be audited for it's crypto implementation can ever be...'secure'.

As in, not even sure what you're all discussing here in the first place.
It's (theoritically) as much...'secure' as it's usual 'more-or-less alternatives'.
Practically, remains to be seen: who knows, maybe one day, by leeching data right & left,
Zoom might reach the (in trillion$...) company value (...and political contacts/influence) of MS & Alphabet ... :wink:
Do i have to fear spies?
I dunno. Do you? :wink:

User avatar
Moem
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 11301
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:14 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by Moem »

thx-1138 wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:12 am
...note 1: "Zoom is BAD!" all over the net (right after it's usage skyrocketed due to lockdown).
And what are the usual 'more-or-less alternatives'? Let's see...
Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts. Ahhhh...
A decent opensource alternative is Jitsi.
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

User avatar
thx-1138
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2101
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:15 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by thx-1138 »

Yes, i've read (not in much detail to be honest) about Jitsi, but i didn't mentioned it also because:
1) i didn't wanted to possibly turn it here into a more generic 'free software vs open src vs closed src etc' discussion,
as it's not up to being an ethical / ideological discussion in the first place when it comes to cryptography:
it's all "show me the math & the code", else, it's either snake-oil, backdoor, or both.
The rest of the hype / current 'anti-Zoom' campaign i find to be semi-irrelevant mambo jambo,
and 'business as usual' / games within the industry between different players.
2) because OP said he was forced 'because of his/her studies',
so not really up to him/her to choose using something else.

To not sound overtly negative, well, life's just a long series of compromises
(on the bright side, eventually we die, hence the world gets a relief from our annoying presence...) :mrgreen:
So, in the meanwhile, and to get on with it by the end of the day,
i'd personally simply try using / configuring it with Firejail as it was already mentioned earlier.
Video performance will suffer lots under Vbox (but hey, you could give it a try).
As for Docker / pulling remote images & running not cli but X apps under such,
besides being kinda of a pita to pull it off & error-prone, i'd expect:
a) very severe latency / dropouts for 'realtime' video streaming...
b) some pretty complicated issues that could likely defeat the whole purpose in the first place,
unless someone knows exactly what he/she is doing (ie. what's the point of pulling a remote container,
if you'll eventually forward / give it access to your...local 0:0 display? This would need quite a bit of reading / research).

User avatar
Fred Barclay
Level 12
Level 12
Posts: 4215
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:12 am
Location: Swimming

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by Fred Barclay »

Kissanminttu wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:10 pm
I read that Firejail has caused many problems, is it so?
Hi Kissanminttu,
I'm one of the primary Firejail devs -- if there's anything I can do to help you run Zoom in firejail feel free to ask or PM me!

We've closed several issues with Zoom recently -- as far as I know there are no remaining issues but I don't use Zoom on Linux myself...
https://github.com/netblue30/firejail/i ... s%3Aclosed

Cheers!
Fred
Image
"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy."
- Albert Einstein

ZakGordon
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 804
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:07 am

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by ZakGordon »

Does zoom run through a browser? Or is it it's own independant software?

If it runs via a browser you could install Brave and run the Tor tab on that then run Zoom over that?

If Zoom does not work that way, then well i'm not sure what else to do other than pay close attention to Zoom's own settings (a bit like you have to when using Windows 10 and wanting to protect your privacy as Windows 10 default settings is not private!).
Laptop overheating? Check link here:itsfoss guide . A move from Cinnamon to XFCE can give a -5 to -10 degrees C change on overheating hardware.

Build a modern dual-boot Ryzen Win7/Linux Mint PC:Tutorial

User avatar
trytip
Level 13
Level 13
Posts: 4751
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by trytip »

never used zoom, i will tell you after i experience it in linux or win10. my family just asked to have a zoom meeting so we can all chat since some of us are in different states. but i highly doubt it's any more less secure than skype or others. will revisit this thread after i actually install it and use it myself
Image

User avatar
Colson P
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:33 pm

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by Colson P »

Zoom can be used through a web browser or installed onto your OS. I like the idea of just using Zoom through your web browser through Brave. Brave is an awesome and very secure web browser (using it to type this reply now!). The rewards system is really cool, especially how it uploads zero tracking data to a server to display ads.

To install Brave, run these commands:

Code: Select all

curl -s https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/brave-core.asc | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/brave-browser-release.gpg add -

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com bionic main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brave.list'

sudo apt update

sudo apt install brave-browser brave-keyring
Linux in a nutshell: xkcd https://xkcd.com/619/

Always remember to marked your posts as [SOLVED] when your problem has been resolved.
That way, others can use your post to solve their own problems.

User avatar
lsemmens
Level 10
Level 10
Posts: 3422
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:07 pm
Location: Rural South Australia

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by lsemmens »

Interestingly enough I'm in a zoom meeting as I type. After the comments above, I passed the comments on to our IT dept. They've now added a password to joining the zoom meeting.
Fully mint Household
Out of my mind - please leave a message

User avatar
wallyUSA
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 744
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:31 pm
Location: Top of Georgia

Re: Zoom and security of files

Post by wallyUSA »

We are thinking about using Zoom for our Lifelong Learners Institute (LLI). I have been testing for the past 2 days. A few negative news articles this week but most say you can avoid problems with two simple steps. The Host person should make Guests use a password and each Guest should have to wait in the 'waiting room' until admitted by the Host.

HTH

UPDATE: And a plus - Zoom is cross platform: M/S, MAC & Linux!
Ulyana 20 Cinnamon 4.6.6 Kernel 5.4.0-40 (64 bit). {Dell XPS 13}
Please, if your query has been resolved, edit your first post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the subject line. This may help others find solutions.

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”