Microsoft is preparing an update for teams which should prevent bad faith actors from abusing the collaboration platform.
according to one new entry (opens in new tab) in the company’s product roadmap, Microsoft Teams will soon allow admins to disable chat access for unauthenticated users, thus protecting against unwanted interruptions.
“IT admins can now disable policy-level chat recording access for non-federated users and unauthenticated users who join Teams meetings via a link,” Microsoft explained.
In the first months of the pandemic, amid the transition to remote work and online learningpranksters and cybercriminals have adopted an unwanted new technique: zoom bombing.
The idea was to break into a meeting (either through code that had been exposed online or shared for legitimate reasons with the attacker) to interrupt the session, eavesdrop on private conversations, or simply scare the participants.
The problem became so pervasive that the Zoom bombing was committed a federal crime in the US, punishable by fines and even imprisonment.
Since then, the main video conference platforms have released various mitigations to guard against these types of outages, from password protection of pre-meeting waiting rooms.
With the upcoming update to Teams, Microsoft is looking to close a remaining chink in its armor by allowing IT admins to prevent anonymous participants from spamming the meeting chat log with irrelevant or inflammatory messages. The feature is still in development for now, but it should be released to all Microsoft Teams customers by the end of July.
The new security installation is one of several updates released by Microsoft in recent months aimed at improving the video conferencing experience.
In May, for example, Microsoft announced a new type of meeting built specifically to support the parent-teacher conferences, which followed a similar update designed to help improve delivery of presentations.
Some doubts have been cast, however, as to whether Microsoft will maintain its current cadence of releases by news the company has. suspended contract in its team divisions and offices.
“As Microsoft prepares for the new fiscal year, it is ensuring that the right resources are aligned with the right opportunity,” the company explained in a rather cryptic statement. “Microsoft will continue to increase headcount over the next year and add additional focus to where these capabilities go.”