Is your kids' school forcing Zoom on them too?

Kyle Smith askreet at gmail.com
Fri Aug 7 22:26:57 EDT 2020


On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 7:18 PM Matt Minuti <matt.minuti at gmail.com> wrote:

> Virtually all of the security "issues" are irrelevant for the use case of
> public schools. All the "hacking" I've heard of has been nothing more than
> people doing the modern equivalent of wardialing, joining in meetings that
> have no password by picking random numbers. That's not zooms fault, that's
> just bad IT policy on any platform (which schools ought to know how to
> address now).
>
> There's been no remote execution exploits (AFAIK), so that's a non-issue.
>
> Maybe I'm missing something, but what exactly is the problem with Zoom in
> this context, and what better alternative are you proposing? Jitsi is cool
> and open source (yay!), and a thousand times better than WebEx, but it's
> subject to similar server-side concerns as zoom (compromised server MITM),
> and I wouldn't put much trust in the local SAU IT guy to handle installing
> it let alone running it securely for hundreds or thousands of simultaneous
> users.
>

This is essentially the main benefit of a hosted solution. Even if there
are open-source alternatives that are equivalent or superior, most school
don't have the resources (e.g. IT staff) to do this correctly. At least
with Zoom it's consistent, and when security fixes go out they go out to
everyone.


> On Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 5:52 PM Joshua Judson Rosen <rozzin at hackerposse.com>
> wrote:
>
>> So..., pandemic. That's still a thing, and school is about to start up.
>>
>> I hear a lot of schools have decided to make everyone use Zoom,
>> whether they're at school or remote. That's apparently what's happening
>> at my kid's school.
>>
>> If you haven't heard..., Zoom has turned out to be a complete privacy-
>> and security-nightmare
>> (the set of links out from the Wikipedia article is not even exhaustive,
>> but holy crap).
>> Though I suspect that most of the people on this list know all about it.
>>
>> How are you dealing with it?
>>
>> We've been trying to talk to our school's administration ever since they
>> sent out an e-mail
>> telling everyone to `expect to use a video-conferencing tool like Google
>> Meet or Zoom'),
>> and finally managed to get a meeting with... the Assistant Principal (who
>> honestly is great, but powerless),
>> and at this point have basically got a response of "wish you'd raised the
>> issue earlier, but we already bought Zoom"
>> (which might not be _as_ frustrating if we hadn't actually first raised
>> this issue back in _March_...).
>>
>> NH does make it fairly straightforward to just give up and homeschool if
>> it comes to that...,
>> but must it really come to that?
>>
>>
>> --
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>> https://status.hackerposse.com/rozzin>
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-- 
Kyle Smith
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