Zoom Acquires Keybase as a part of 90 days plan and improve end-to-end encryption

Zoom has been looking to strengthen its privacy issues. In this wake, it has acquired the start-up Keybase that focuses on E2E encryption.

CIOL Bureau
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Zoom Keybase acquisition

Zoom has been looking to strengthen its privacy issues. In this wake, it has launched a 90-day plan of action. One of the task amid these 90 days that, it has done, is to acquire Keybase. Eric Yuan said:


We are excited to integrate Keybase’s team into the Zoom family to help us build end-to-end encryption that can reach current Zoom scalability. We are working hard, engaging top experts to help us, and not wasting any time.

This step, for Zoom, will help it make safe and more private. In addition to this, it will scale the platform to perform for more than a hundred million users. The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but this is the first purchase that the company has done in 9 years.

Max Krohn, the founder of Keybase, said that it will take some time to bake Keybase’s technology into Zoom’s software. This is primarily because the product is currently used largely by security and cryptography experts and needs to be simplified for Zoom’s broad customer base. Further, Keybase's service will be part of Zoom’s paid offering. It won't be available to free users.


Even before this acquisition, Zoom has added many security features to the app. These include defaulting to the waiting room option, more host control use of a password.

Who is Keybase?

Keybase is a key directory. It maps social media identities to encryption keys in a publicly auditable manner. Additionally, it offers an end-to-end encrypted chat called Keybase Chat. Also, it has a cloud storage system called the Keybase Filesystem. Files placed in the public portion of the filesystem are served from a public endpoint, as well as locally from a filesystem mounted by the Keybase client.


Who are Keybase clients?

Keybase supports publicly connecting Twitter, GitHub, Reddit, Hacker News and Mastodon identities, including websites and domains under one's control, to encryption keys.

It also supports Bitcoin, Zcash, and Stellar wallet addresses. It also used to support Coinbase but stopped in 2017.


How will Keybase benefit Zoom?

In the blog, Eric said that users will get cryptographic identities from Zoom Networks. This will establish trust between users and the key will only be available to the host. The servers will load a list of attendees and only allow those to attend the meeting. He also said:

We are also investigating mechanisms that would allow enterprise users to provide additional levels of authentication.