Zoom acquires secure messaging and file-sharing service startup Keybase to provide end-to-end encryption
Last week, we told you about Zoom after the video conferencing app company said it grew by another 50 percent in just 3 weeks, topping 300 million users. The company has also been plagued with security concerns after cybersecurity researchers found that Zoom sends encryption keys to China which could compromise the confidentiality of Zoom meetings. The reports about security gaps and challenges forced many companies to ban their employees from using the software.
It now seems is trying to address its weakness with the acquisition of a secure messaging and file-sharing service startup. Today, Zoom announced it has acquired Keybase to enable it provide the most broadly used enterprise End-to-End encryption offering. Founded in 2014 by Chris Coyne and Maxwell Krohn, the New York City-based Keybase allows users to easily encrypt, decrypt, and share messages within a tried-and-tested encryption standard.
The acquisition of Keybase will also accelerate Zoom’s plan to build end-to-end encryption that can reach current Zoom scalability. “There are end-to-end encrypted communications platforms. There are communications platforms with easily deployable security. There are enterprise-scale communications platforms. We believe that no current platform offers all of these. This is what Zoom plans to build, giving our users security, ease of use, and scale, all at once,” said Eric S. Yuan, CEO of Zoom.
“The first step is getting the right team together. Keybase brings deep encryption and security expertise to Zoom, and we’re thrilled to welcome Max and his team. Bringing on a cohesive group of security engineers like this significantly advances our 90-day plan to enhance our security efforts.”
“Keybase is thrilled to join Team Zoom!” said Max Krohn, Keybase.io co-founder and developer. “Our team is passionate about security and privacy, and it is an honor to be able to bring our encryption expertise to a platform used by hundreds of millions of participants a day.”
As members of Zoom’s security engineering function, the Keybase team will provide important contributions to Zoom’s 90-day plan to proactively identify, address, and enhance the security and privacy capabilities of its platform. Krohn will lead the Zoom security engineering team, reporting directly to Yuan. Leaders from Zoom and Keybase will work together to determine the future of the Keybase product. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Visit the Zoom blog for more details on the plans for building the end-to-end encryption offering.