How the video service wants to go on the offensive again

San Francisco The many reports of security holes and warnings from politicians have spurred the growth of zoom not harmed. “Germany is our fastest growing market worldwide,” says Peer Stemmler, Germany boss of the US video conference provider, the Handelsblatt. It is here that the San Jose, California company also increases its investments and the number of employees the most.

Zoom is one of the few companies to benefit massively from the corona pandemic. In December, when the service was mainly used for business meetings, the app was used by ten million people every day. Because of the global curfews, coffee and math lessons, birthday parties and bar mitzvah celebrations are now taking place via video. In a time of social distancing, Zoom enables social life for millions of people.

There is even a word for the separation of partners via zoom: Zumping, a suitcase word from zoom and dumping.

In the corona crisis, the number of users rose to 200 million, with the company counting everyone who attended a meeting. Competitors like grow Google Hangouts, Microsoft’s Skype or Bluejeans, the acquisition of which the US mobile phone company Verizon just announced. But Zoom pulls everyone away.

However, the criticism grows with attention: numerous weak points as well as a questionable handling of user data have become public. Numerous companies have banned the software in the past few days and weeks, politicians have warned against it. Zoom knows about the problems – and promises improvement. “The basic values ​​with which we designed our product were seamless and smooth so far. In the future, it will be seamless, smooth and secure, ”Chief Information Officer Harry Moseley told Handelsblatt.

Zoom access data in the Darknet

So far there has been a lack of security. Easy access to video meetings, which by default worked without a password, led to the so-called “zoom bombing” attacks on foreign meetings, which ranged from pranking to attacks by right-wing extremists at Jewish funerals.


Security researchers found that Zoom was having some conversations about a data center in China even though no attendees were there, and asked whether the Chinese government could force Zoom to give them access to chats. Recently, data sets with around 500,000 zoom accesses appeared in the Darknet, which hackers offered for sale there. It’s the best ever, it’s the worst ever for zoom.

Some companies and public institutions reacted with zoom bans for their employees: The space company Space X and Google prohibited the use, as did the German State Department, the US Senate, the school authority in the state of New York or the space agency Nasa. The U.S. Department of Defense clarified that only Zoom’s special government service that uses its own servers is allowed.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic majority leader in the US House of Representatives, called Zoom a “Chinese organization” – although Zoom boss Eric Yuan was born Chinese, he founded the company in 2011 in San Jose in the south of Silicon Valley, not an hour’s drive from Pelosi’s constituency San Francisco away.

Now the company wants to go on the offensive again. Entire teams of developers have been removed from working on new features to deal with security issues, says CIO Moseley. The problems should be resolved within 90 days and an external security check should be completed in order to regain customer trust.


CEO Eric Yuan shows unusual personal commitment to this: Every Wednesday morning the founder of the company, which has been listed since 2019, gives an “Ask Eric Anything” webinar with some of his board members. Yuan sits in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the customizable backgrounds in the app, explains progress and answers user questions.

Facebook-Specialist as consultant

Alex Stamos has been supporting the company since Wednesday. From 2015 to 2018, he was Facebook’s board member responsible for security. He is said to have left the company in a dispute over how the online company should deal with the abuse of its platform by Russia before the 2016 US presidential election. Today he teaches in Stanford and is a cyber security capacity.

After the first reports of security vulnerabilities at Zoom, Stamos criticized “doubtful design decisions” on Twitter on April 1st. The company had to demonstrate greater transparency and have its progress professionally checked by hackers. “This is an opportunity to bring trust back.”

Yuan then called him and asked Stamos for advice. “Never before has a company had to expand its service so quickly, especially not for something as data-intensive as video transmission,” says Stamos in a webinar. The team he works with are currently doing the login records for Zoom traded on the Darknet.

Zoom hired two cybersecurity companies to infiltrate the fence group, Stamos said. They found that the data of the 500,000 accounts were already known from previous hacks. “Every company that has user logins has to deal with this problem,” says Stamos. On Facebook, they would have captured and checked records of this size every day.

Zoom has dealt with many criticisms in a short time. To prevent “zoom bombing”, every chat should now be password-protected and have a virtual waiting room from which new visitors must first be let in. The use of servers in China was a mistake that was due to the extreme increase in users.

The data center in China will be removed from the global network and a new one will only be set up for Chinese customers, says Germany boss Stemmler. In the future, paying users could also choose in which regions the data centers should be located, through which their video chats are brought together.

IT security has a price

Stemmler emphasizes, however, that many of the steps that are being taken now have their price. If the data could no longer take the shortest route to an available data center, the image quality would tend to decrease. Password protection and virtual waiting rooms are important for business meetings or sensitive private appointments, elsewhere they are annoying and overwhelming technical amateurs.


Zoom grew so gigantic, mainly because a click on a link was usually enough to get into a meeting. The more hurdles there are between users and their meetings, the more Zoom’s advantage over the competition shrinks. “It will be a big challenge, which we hope we can solve through innovation,” says Zoom CEO Moseley.

Compared to other tech companies, Zoom has reacted quickly to the criticism and seems to want to tackle it point by point. When Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg was asked about the abuse of his platform by Russia after the 2016 election, he initially called the allegation a “pretty crazy idea”.

Yuan made a public apology in a blog post. He even thinks it is conceivable to disclose Zoom’s source code to give external security experts the opportunity to work on better solutions themselves.

In early July, the 90 days in which Zoom plans to improve the security of its service will have expired. Only then will it be possible to give an answer as to whether Zoom deserves a second chance.

More: This is how companies establish a good home office culture


What did the Hubble Space Telescope observe on your birthday?

Of stars, galaxies, planets, nebulae. Since its launch on April 24, 1990, the hubble space telescope made more than 1.4 million observations. And to celebrate with all astronomy enthusiasts its 30 years of good and loyal service to science, the teams of the Nasa (United States) decided to select a particular photo taken every day of the year.

What did the Hubble Space Telescope see on your birthday? Two spiral galaxies at a different angle, for example. Left NGC 4302 and right NGC 4298. © Nasa

Now it’s up to you to enter the date of your birthday – day and month only – and discover the image that Hubble unveiled to the world at date of your birthday – if you are young enough and you are lucky – or maybe you are blowing out your 10, 18, 30, 40 or 50 candles. To share without moderation on social media using the hashtag # Hubble30.


Colors of the homeland An asteroid is nearing collision with Earth

With the world preoccupied with the emerging corona virus (Covid 19), NASA has shocked the world with news. An asteroid Huge is now approaching a collision with the Earth.

And the agency “NASA” published a live broadcast, which is currently being monitored by all the world’s population of the huge asteroid as it approaches the Earth and is about to collide with it, and constitutes a potential danger, according to the American “CNN” website.

It is not known exactly how dangerous the asteroid.

In the following lines, we review the most important information about the asteroid GH2 that is currently passing near Earth, according to the website “CNet”.

The diameter of this asteroid is from 13 to 30 meters.

Its size is equal to the size of a small house.

It was discovered on April 11.

The nearest asteroid reaches from Earth, at a distance of 220,000 miles.

The closest point between the asteroid and Earth is about 16 thousand miles closer to the planet.

Although the GH2 asteroid has come close to Earth, the distance is still safe.

The most prominent benefit of GH2 monitoring is to demonstrate how near-Earth objects previously unknown appeared on our horizon with amazing uniformity.

There is nothing to worry about this asteroid, and it is now on its way out of orbit.

The biggest potential risk is that this asteroid will destroy satellites located 22,000 miles from Earth.


The Federal Foreign Office prohibits the use of zoom on business devices


Due to various security deficiencies under pressure: the video conference app provider Zoom.

(Photo: AFP)

Berlin The Federal Foreign Office (AA) is severely restricting the use of the Zoom video conference app due to security risks. “According to media reports and according to our own knowledge, the software from Zoom has critical weaknesses and continues to have significant security and data protection problems,” says a circular from the Ministry to the employees, which is available in extracts from the Handelsblatt.

“Because of the associated risks for our IT system as a whole, we have, like other departments and industrial companies, also decided for the AA not to allow the use of zoom on the devices used for business purposes.”

The ministry also draws attention to information on in-house IT security, according to which the use of zoom by international partners is widespread. “A complete abandonment of the app would currently make our communication with them massively more difficult.” Therefore, the use on private devices for business purposes “is permitted due to the crisis, where this is essential for the fulfillment of tasks,” the circular states. Nevertheless, care should also be taken in this use not to discuss any secret content marked with “VS-NfD” (“classified information – only for official use”).

According to information from the Handelsblatt, the Federal Foreign Office is already looking for a “more trustworthy” alternative to Zoom, because a general ban on use would “currently not be helpful” because of communication with foreign countries.

Zoom is considered one of the great beneficiaries of the corona pandemic. In the past few weeks, the company has increased the number of daily users from ten to 200 million. But at the same time, new security margins are becoming known: For example, Zoom guided connections through China without the knowledge of its customers, used outdated encryption technology, and used user data Facebook divided. The list of allegations is getting longer almost every day.

A spokesman for Zoom emphasized that the company takes the safety of its users “extremely seriously”. Zoom is in contact “with governments around the world” and focuses on providing information “that they need to make informed political decisions”.

Class action against zoom

Politicians from the coalition and opposition are therefore warning against the video service. “As long as the company is unable to refute the allegations, Zoom cannot be recommended as a video conferencing service,” said the Union’s parliamentary group’s spokesman for digital policy, Tankred Schipanski (CDU), the Handelsblatt newspaper. Politicians from the SPD, the Greens and the FDP expressed similar views.

Other countries have already taken consequences. Authorities in Taiwan are no longer allowed to use the service. Also the space agency Nasa, the rocket manufacturer SpaceX and the car company Tesla have completely prohibited the use.

Zoom is also facing a lawsuit for security vulnerabilities and privacy deficiencies. A shareholder filed a class action lawsuit in California in the United States on Tuesday. Zoom is accused of stating that the quality of data protection is too high and that it has not made it public that the service is not continuously encrypted.

The company is under pressure from increasing security concerns and reports on zoom bombing, in which unauthorized persons dial into meetings. Since an all-time high at the end of March, the share has lost almost a third of its value. Zoom boss Eric Yuan promised to take care of the problems last week.

The Germans are largely undecided about the use of zoom. This is shown by a YouGov survey commissioned by the Handelsblatt. According to this, 39 percent of the 587 respondents voted to continue using the service despite the ongoing criticism. 27 percent answered no “In your opinion, should the video conference service continue to be used in German schools and companies or not?”. 33 percent of the respondents did not want to commit themselves.

More: Read here why Zoom has to work on its reputation as quickly as possible.


Dragon returns to Earth after a successful mission in space – thought and art – east and west

The SpaceX’s “Dragon” spacecraft successfully returned to Earth on Tuesday, after completing its last resupply mission to the International Space Station.

This came as reported by the American private space company and the American Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The vehicle left the station at 0906 am (1306 GMT).

SpaceX posted a tweet at around 3 pm local time confirming the return of the Dragon after its completion of the last and final resupply mission.

The capsule was launched from Cape Canaveral in the United States to the International Space Station in early March, with more than 1950 kilograms of supplies for astronauts on the orbiting station.



Zoom in distress: politicians warn of video service

San Francisco, Düsseldorf, Berlin For Dennis Johnson, it should be the greatest success of his career so far. At the end of March, the doctoral student at California State University in Long Beach had to defend his dissertation, which was due to the corona risk via the video conferencing service Zoom.

In the middle of the lecture a red smear appeared on his slide, then a racist insult aimed directly at the African American Johnson. Unknowns had apparently found the link to Johnson’s lecture on racism in the American school system on the Internet and hijacked his presentation. “In one of the most significant moments of my life, I was called N *****,” Johnson later wrote to Zoom.

The San Jose company is also experiencing one of the most important moments of its existence – only whether it will end well or not is still unclear. Corona virus worldwide curfews or contact bans have catapulted the service’s daily user base from ten million in December to 200 million in March. Zoom’s stock is one of the few in the world that has made significant profits since the Corona outbreak.

Actually designed for business customers, Zoom and Friends now meet, students are taught there, married couples are married and children are baptized. Because Zoom works without a profile, without an app or password and remains stable despite the onslaught, the service outperformed established competitors such as Microsoft’s Skype, Apple’s Facetime or Google’s Hangouts in the first few weeks of the pandemic.

But success is at risk. Ease of use is a blessing and a curse at the same time: robberies of Internet roles, such as those suffered by Dennis Johnson, now happen so often that there is already a word for it: zoom bombing. At the same time, new security gaps and problems with data protection became known.

Warnings from German politics

Zoom has become very successful and very controversial in no time. New York City Attorney General Letitia James has initiated investigations into Zoom over privacy and data security practices. In California, a user filed a lawsuit against Zoom. The future of the service is unclear – especially in Germany.

Politicians from the coalition and opposition warned against the Handelsblatt about the video conference app. “As long as the company is unable to refute the allegations, Zoom cannot be recommended as a video conferencing service,” said the Union’s parliamentary group’s spokesman for digital policy, Tankred Schipanski (CDU), the Handelsblatt newspaper. The security and data protection allegations are to be taken very seriously. “They are complex and come from very different groups of users.”

SPD digital politician Jens Zimmermann also expressed concerns. “Great care should be taken with confidential or even secret content,” Zimmermann told the Handelsblatt. “According to the current state of knowledge, it is not advisable to use the Zoom service for sensitive content.”


The chairman of the digital committee in the Bundestag, Manuel Höferlin (FDP), sees it similarly. “As long as Zoom cannot prove that their software is safe and trustworthy, German companies should largely refrain from using this video platform,” Höferlin told Handelsblatt. “This should at least apply to all meetings where the required level of confidentiality is higher than with a postcard.”

The spokesman for the Greens parliamentary group for industrial policy and digital economy, Dieter Janecek, agrees. “At the moment you have to come to the conclusion that the concerns about using zoom are also justified in Europe,” said Janecek. “The problem is that more privacy-friendly and safer alternatives to many of the widely used digital applications such as video conferencing systems, messenger services or social media platforms are often hardly competitive.”

Awareness, network and lock-in effects, which especially ensure that companies stay with certain applications because the implementation has already resulted in costs, are usually more decisive for the use. “It is therefore essential that existing systems comply with high data protection and IT security standards,” emphasized the Green Party politician.

From the perspective of the CDU politician Schipanski, the video software Zoom impresses with its user-friendliness. “In my opinion, however, the legal concerns weigh more heavily, and so it is understandable that some companies have deliberately avoided using Zoom.


Most recently, SpaceX, the rocket company of the Tesla-Chefs Elon Musk, employees prohibited from using the software because of “significant privacy and security concerns”. The US space agency Nasa, one of the largest SpaceX customers, has also banished Zoom from their computers.

The SPD politician Zimmermann advised, however, to subject every other service to a critical review. “For many technical solutions that have been used in emergencies in the past few weeks, consolidation must now take place,” said Zimmermann. “Above all, it is important to check for what purposes a service should be used.”

Privacy advocates are concerned

Hamburg-based data protection officer Johannes Caspar expressed similar concerns as German politicians and advises against using the video conference app Zoom. “Zoom has certainly lost confidence in the past,” Caspar told the Handelsblatt. There are definitely user-friendly and transparent alternatives for video communication services. “Nobody is forced to remain loyal to a provider here.”

With the compulsion to abstain, which has affected public and private life in response to the coronavirus, Caspar is seeing a rapid acceleration of digitalization. “Electronic communication for digital learning in schools and universities, the communication between individual areas of the home office in the world of work, but also the connection between people in clubs, associations and organizations, as well as in general in the private environment, has triggered a rush to digital services that has so far been without comparison, ”said the data protection officer.

The “extreme pressure of demand” often leads to quick solutions that focus primarily on efficiency. However, the example of zoom shows, according to Caspar: “It is not enough to not only reach the respective user groups in some way, but it must be about developing sustainable and reputable solutions and integrating data protection and data security even under the current conditions.”

According to Caspar, the world will change “profoundly” with the corona crisis. “Digital innovations are the key to mastering new challenges.” However, intelligent options and ways into the future required self-determined users and transparent services. “The many, almost daily changing offers of video communication services make it difficult to make an informed choice.”

In future, the data protection supervisory authorities will have the central task of providing advice and information. “In the future, the transparency of providers will have a much greater importance for the use of communication services,” emphasized Caspar. “Only then can the rights of those affected be protected.”


Meet SunRise, the swarm of NASA satellites that will monitor the storms of the Sun

In anticipation of its future manned missions to the Moon and Mars, Nasa wishes to acquire tools for predicting the most precise solar activity possible. In addition to the satellites already dedicated to this task, NASA has just selected the SunRISE mission. Composed of six cubesats which will form by interferometry a radiotelescope several kilometers wide, this mission will provide real-time data, useful for the development of solar radiation maps in particular.

The Nasa has definitively selected the SunRISE mission which consists of a network of six cubesats forming, by There are several major architectures of interferometers.
Interferometers make it possible to create electromagnetic wave interference, as do … “data-image =” hanford-observatory-caltech-mit-ligo-lab.jpg “data-url =” “data-more =” Read more “>interferometer, a big radio telescope to better understand how they occur There are no specific characteristics for … “data-image =” littoral.jpg “data-url =” “data-more =” Read more “>storms of giant solar particles. This mission also aims to improve the prediction of this solar activity which generates and releases in the solar system radiation. These represent a danger for astronauts aboard the International space station and will also threaten future explorers (or inhabitants) of the Moon with a tiny “L” is the satellite of a planet. For example Phobos and Deimos are the two moons of the planet Mars.
The moon
The moon with a capital “L” is the only natural satellite of the Earth; it probably results from a collision 4.4 years ago … “data-image =” .jpg “data-url =” “data-more =” Read more “>Moon and Mars. These satellites will be launched in 2023 in order to be operational before the first manned missions to the Moon on Artemis program of NASA, which plans to send a man and a woman to the Moon in 2024.

These satellites will fly in formation in the orbit in astronomy
In astronomy, the orbit indicates the closed trajectory followed by a celestial body around another celestial body in a periodic manner, under the influence of … “data-image =” https: //cdn.futura-sciences .com / buildsv6 / images / midioriginal / 9/2 / e / 92eefd02ac_49145_iss-terre-soleil-nasa-s-marshall-space-flight-center-flickr-cc-nc-20.jpg “data-url =” https: // “data-more =” Read more “>orbit low. Spaced only about ten kilometers from each other, they will form, by The principle consists in the study of the interferences produced by the combination of coherent beams (coming from the same source and vibrating in phase) presenting a path difference. It provides better spatial resolution. “Data-url =” “data-more =” Read the definition “>interferometry, a large radio telescope several kilometers in diameter. Together, they will continuously observe the Sun is the closest star to Earth, from which it is about 150 million kilometers apart. The Sun is located 8.5 kparsecs from the center of the Milky Way. In the classification of stars, the sun is a star of type G2.
The mass … “data-image =” “data-url =” https: // news. “data-more =” Read more “>Sun in the air radio bass This is generally a time frequency f, related to the period T (expressed in s) of the phenomenon observed by the following formula: f = 1 / T.
It is also possible to … “data-url =” “data-more =” Read more “>frequencies to create three-dimensional maps of the Sun to identify the regions where these storms form.

SunRISE also aims to map, for the first time, the lines of Magnetic field, magnet and field … “data-image =” /a/a/6aa47f5f22_85914_champ-magnetique.jpg “data-url =” “data-more =” Read more “>magnetic field starting from the Sun and moving in all directions of interplanetary space. This aspect of the mission is particularly interesting. Indeed, this interplanetary magnetic field has a determining role because it is it which magnetically connects the Sun to the planets. When accelerated particles escape from the Sun, they will follow and pass through these magnetic field lines. By observing the region of the Sun where these storms must take place, and using these future magnetic field line maps, it will be possible to better predict where these particles will go and whether, for example, they will reach the Structure from the globe … “data-image =” “data-url =” https: // “data-more =” Read more “>Earth or Mars for example.

Better understand how the Sun influences the space environment

This real-time data will be useful to meteorologists Nasa which produce short and very short term forecast bulletins of solar activity so as to broadcast warnings and alerts when solar activity is likely to pose a risk. The use of these bulletins should enable those in charge of manned missions to reduce, as much as possible, the degrees of exposure of astronauts in activity on the Moon, on board of space infrastructures or on a voyage bound for Mars, for example .

If astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the only orbital station in service, represents a major step for the … “data-image =” images / midioriginal / d / 3/4 / d34dc1c390_50084100_iss-01.jpg “data-url =” “data-more = “Read more”>International space station are naturally protected from these radiations by the Inner Belt (at 3,500 km): composed essentially of protons, … “data-url =” -allen-1000 / “data-more =” Read more “>van allen belts – which act as a protective shield for the Earth by trapping solar particles -, astronauts, beyond the sphere of influence of these belts (40,000 kilometers above sea level), are exposed to galactic radiation and energetic particles from the Sun, associated with solar flares and to ejections from the Unit of mass: the kilogram
The mass is represented by the symbol m and, in … “data-image =” “data- url = “” data-more = “Read more”>mass coronal.

During the Apollo missions, astronauts were very little exposed to these risks. On the one hand, because the missions were planned at a time when the activity of the Sun was weak and on the other hand, the missions not exceeding two weeks, the duration exposure was short enough not to expose them to radiation doses with significant health consequences. As proof, none died prematurely and most of them died very old.

Interested in what you just read?

Subscribe to the newsletter The daily : our latest news of the day.

This will also interest you

Solar Orbiter to conquer the Sun ESA launched its Solar Orbiter probe on February 10 to study the Sun and the solar wind. Here in video, the key points of the mission.


NASA discovers novel black hole – world –

The IMBH could represent “a missing link” in the development of our universe.
© AP

Scientists may have discovered a special black hole with the help of the Hubble space telescope.

Astronomers had long been looking for evidence of its existence.

This specimen may be a special black hole. It is 740 million light years from Earth and has 50,000 times the mass of our sun.

With its mass, it is a so-called black hole of medium mass (IMBH – Intermediate Mass Black Hole). So far, science has only known significantly larger or smaller specimens.

IMBHs are particularly difficult to spot because they are smaller and less active than supermassive black holes. Science became aware of the IMBH when a strong flare of X-rays was discovered in 2006.


Dow Jones, Nasdaq, S&P 500: Record unemployment in the US is pushing markets into the red

Unemployment claims in the United States soared to historic highs of 6.65 million last week. That affects the mood on Wall Street. .