Zoom is malware?

Ok, the title is deliberately inflammatory, but I encountered a very weird set of problems. The last couple of times I shared my screen on a Zoom call, my screen flickered on and off a few times and the “scale and layout” setting (i.e. “200% (Recommended)”) changed itself, too. I googled this and Zoom’s only response to this (and seemingly practically the only kind of support response you get from anyone anymore, as I’ve come to find) was, “reinstall,” which I did but it happened again yesterday. Also yesterday the following things happened:

  • I noticed a weird artifact that took the form a small square with what I can only describe as “colorful VHS static” that would appear, change a few times and then go away. This persisted after the call ended and I quit zoom, until I rebooted the computer.

  • While sharing my screen, I fired up a Word doc and Word was extremely slow. It operated for me as though I was watching someone screen share it. Three second lag between clicking or scrolling and the herjy-jerky response from the computer. This persisted until I uninstalled Zoom and rebooted the computer today!

I ran a Malwarebytes scan and it found nothing. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Totally bizarre, and it feels weird to blame Zoom, and yet uninstalling it fixed my Word problem!

I use Zoom a half dozen or more times daily. Never had this issue.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. (It sounds like something up with your computer – but I don’t know if it’s Zoom or not. )

“Extremely slow” sounds like a low memory issue, did you check Task Manager (or Activity Monitor if you’re on a mac)? Zoom might be leaking memory.

I can’t explain the weird screen artifact though.

How much RAM do you have and how many apps do you have open? How many browser tabs?

Zoom is built on Electron, so it’s eating up a ton of memory by itself.

Yeah, I checked it, RAM was at like 30% usage (most of it being used by Chrome, which is a huge resource hog) and everything else (Chrome, PDFs) that I tried ran fine, smooth, no lag.

Zoom was not running, just to be clear, while the lag issue was happening this morning (yesterday was a different story). As I mentioned (while you were typing your question), RAM usage was at 30% the one time I checked, and the machine has 16GB overall. Even after I closed everything else the issue persisted…until I uninstalled zoom and rebooted. And it wasn’t just the reboot which resolved it, as the machine had been shut down and rebooted once or twice since the issue began yesterday (reboot did seem to resolve the weird screen glitch which only began with screensharing and persisted after Zoom was exited).

I have to use Zoom once a year for Democratic party stuff (still tangentially involved to help a precinct organize)

It’s horrible , and I wish we could just use discord.

The reason Zoom is so easy to use is, and always was, that it pervasively craps over all OS protections. And it works.
Whether that is malware is up to you.

Don’t use Zoom if you are pro-Uighar, human-rights, anti-Beijing. They can spy on you and lock you out and have done so like every other mainland-based service/site.

Isn’t Zoom an American company? I can imagine there might be issues if you’re connecting with someone in China, but I don’t think they’re leaking info wholesale to China. Do you have a source on this?

https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/usa-zoom-admits-suspending-human-rights-activists-accounts-at-chinas-behest/

Chinese-American. Operate in China, you operate at the CCP’s behest.

Unfortunately, if you want to do B2B in the United States, you’d better be using Zoom or at least have it as an option to connect. It is the market leader – by still a wide margin – in that space.

GoToMeeting>>>>Zoom>>Teams in my usage.

Teams->Zoom for me here in Canada

Or you’re in the (rare) position that your market clout lets you get away with swimming upstream. We use Webex at my workplace, including for calls with partners and such. Maybe it’s different in other parts of the company, but it’s always Webex for the calls I’m on.

Your broader point definitely applies. Zoom has done a great job building that market lead and maintaining it.

We use Zoom as a company, but we will jump on Webex,Google Meet, Teams, whatever, depending on which one a given client prefers.

I guarantee your clients notice and appreciate that. Good for you.

Zoom/Teams in equal measure for me, though we will also meet the customer with whatever platform is their preference.

I think for any small company that exists on business to business/enterprise work, it’s almost a must these days to do it that way, but maybe I’m wrong there.

You are right on the money. I’m with a small software/consulting startup these days and that’s how we roll as well. Preference is Teams if we are hosting the meeting, but I have the clients for like everything installed on my work laptop. If the clients send a meeting invite, we oblige and use their preferred service. Just a quick glance at my icons next to my clock on the taskbar shows gotomeeting, chime, teams, webex, zoom, and discord all running.

Seems like the best thread to ask about this in, even though my issue doesn’t appear to be malware-related, or even necessarily related to the Zoom app.

After participating in a recent Zoom call, one of the other participants reached out to me in an effort to make a personal connection. While this wasn’t necessarily unwelcome (for mental health related reasons I am trying to become more social, generally), I was disturbed when in his P.S. he listed several random aliases that I have used in the past, and made a joke about gaming. Alarmed, I mentioned that I perceived this presumed sleuthing around to dig up aliases and then list them to me as a creepy move. He sort-of-apologized-but-not-really (“Sorry you see it that way”), but then shifted the blame to Zoom, and said the info was “displayed in your Zoom window”.

Thing is, when I registered I didn’t put anything in my Zoom profile beyond a first name and the required email address. I can only assume that either this person is lying, or that Zoom does its own datamining and he somehow stumbled on something they pulled up without my explicit knowledge. Or, I suppose it’s possible he did a reverse image search on the the profile image I used in Zoom (which I doubt, because it has no ties to any of the aliases he listed). Tomorrow I plan to read through the Zoom TOS, and will possibly reach out to them. Would also welcome hive mind speculation.