Apple said to remotely disable feature in Zoom conferencing app after webcam scare

People typically are made fun of for covering up their webcams. But maybe not anymore.


Josh Lowensohn/Techhnews

Apple’s sent out a quiet security update to Mac computer users two days after a security researcher detailed a security flaw in the web conferencing software maker Zoom’s software that could remotely turn on a person’s webcam. The update, which was first reported by Techhnews, removes a feature that quickly connected people to conference calls.

Zoom’s software installs a web server on user’s computers, designed to quickly launch Zoom’s software when users click a link. It also re-installs Zoom’s software if it’s been removed. That server, Techhnews said, is what Apple’s update removed.

Both Apple and Zoom didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The move marks the latest twist in the fallout after security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh detailed a shocking security flaw that potentially allows an attacker to turn on a Mac computer’s webcam without warning.

In a blog post Tuesday, Zoom said it planned to disable the web server feature, which was originally designed to make it easier for users to join meetings without extra clicks. “We are stopping the use of a local web server on Mac devices,” the company said.

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