The Australian Defence Force has told its personnel they’re not to use Zoom meetings after Hamish Blake dropped in on an Air Force flight-log meeting last week, which didn’t go down too well with the higher-ranking officers in the chat.
As per The Australian, all defence force staff and personnel were told to stop using the huge conferencing platform this morning due to apparent suspicions around security flaws in the conferencing system and fears that sensitive information could be accessed by unknown threat actors who exploit these flaws.
While Hamish’s appearance in what probably should have been an encrypted and secure conference call was innocent enough, it’s obviously set off some alarm bells in the wider defence force.
That combined with the fact the company admitted to “mistakenly” routing some call information and user data through China, and has been apparently experiencing security issues, it’s probably for the best that something as important as a country’s entire defence force stops using it for daily calls while working from home or in isolation.
It’s reported that the recent shift to working from home has been a struggle for the ADF, which has traditionally relied on personnel using secure facilities for all sensitive communication. Now that people are mostly working from home, which is nowhere near as secure as those pre-existing locations, Defence is now grappling with how best to navigate encrypted communication.
Cybersecurity analyst Tom Uren told The Australian that sensitive communication needs as close to a complete guarantee of security and encryption as possible, and that level of security is not possible with commercial software many Aussies are using to work from home.
Probably for the best that all sensitive and/or top-secret chats are done through a secure connection, because if SpaceX has moved away from using a program like Zoom meetings, you know it’s probably not the greatest place to talk about Important Stuff, hey.Image: Instagram / @hamishblakeshotz