Popular video-conferencing app Zoom has announced that users must update their desktop client after this weekend in order to continue joining meetings, as it rolls out GCM encryption for all Zoom meetings.
Zoom announced that it would begin enabling GCM encryption on May 30, at 01:00 PDT. The update is a really welcome boost to Zoom’s security, which was found to be lacking following the app’s meteoric rise thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst not as good as end-to-end encryption, GCM, or (Galois/Counter Mode) is a higher-quality security system, perfect for video conferencing, because it uses a stream cipher, rather than a block cipher. Zoom’s update note states:
We will be enabling GCM encryption across the entire Zoom platform, providing increased protection for meeting data. This will be deployed as a rolling update over the release window. Once this is enabled for your account, all users are required to be on Zoom 5.0 or higher to join a meeting. If you have not updated your desktop or mobile client, you will have the choice to update or join via a browser.
Zoom’s support page confirms that all users must upgrade to version 5.0+ from May 30 “in order to join any meeting” as GCM encryption will be fully enabled for all Zoom meetings.
There are two ways to do this via Zoom’s Download Center, or when prompted the next time you join a meeting, just follow the instructions on the screen. If you can’t update your app, you can still join a meeting from Zoom’s web client, or on mobile. Zoom has confirmed users cannot opt-out of GMC stating:
No, this is a required change for all accounts on the Zoom backend.
For a full brief on the update and answers to more support questions, visit Zoom’s website.