URGENT! Breaking impact of security changes on 5 April to webinars?


In an email from Friday late evening (European time) we were notified of 2 changes, seemingly related only to Zoom meetings, which will come into effect on 5 April (just a bit more than a day after the communication):

  1. Meeting Passwords Enabled “On”
  2. Virtual Waiting Room Turned on by Default

From the tests I just did, it seems that the changes are already in place.
The problem we have is that the change for forcing the meetings to have passwords seems to also apply to webinars, even though this is not mentioned in the communication.

Essentially, our tests show that join links for attendees and panelists to already scheduled webinars now do no longer work! We have sent out each webinar participant (be it a panelist or an attendee) an individual link when the participant was added to the webinar. Following these individual links now result in the Zoom app asking the participant to enter the meeting password, which was previously not set.
As we have a lot of webinars with a lot of already invited attendees, we are not practically in the position to generate and sent out individual participants the newly set passwords for the webinars. And just imagine the confusion the participants will have when trying to understand how to join; this would result in much less event attendance than normal.

My questions are:

  1. Is this change in the webinars intended or a side effect of the changes done to meetings?
  2. If it is intentional, why was it not included in the communication?
  3. Does Zoom consider implementing such breaking changes impacting not only developers, but all end users with only a day or two of prior notice?
  4. What is the recommended procedure for us to remedy this situation with regards to all already planned webinars who have already added panelists and registrants, who have received already their individual join links to the webinars?

Many thanks,

Hi @v.hristov,

We apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused you. I was able to reproduce the issue that you are facing and I have informed the product team about it to address your questions. In the meantime, could you send me the Zoom Account Numbers of the hosts for whom the Webinars were scheduled as well as your Zoom Account Number via message? The Webinar team will look into it to find the best possible way to help you.

Thank you.

Hi @shrijana.g,

Many thanks for your response. We are supporting several organizations with several different accounts and I do not have an immediate access to the account numbers.

Could you please confirm if this change impacts webinars in accounts which have 2 or more Pro users with the Webinar add-on? Also, do you know what would be the remediation plans for this issue - will the webinars be exempted from this change at all, regardless of the type of Zoom accounts?

Thanks a lot,

Hi @v.hristov I can totally understand. If you could provide me your email address registered with Zoom and your Account Number, I will connect you with the product team working on this and provide you the right information. Thank you for your patience.

Update: I received this support article that highlights that the password related settings are indeed enabled for Meetings as well as Webinars. The release went in effect on April 04, 2020. It says “For previously scheduled meetings or webinars with a unique one-time meeting ID, there is no need to enter a password when joining or resend the invitation. These meetings and webinars will not be impacted.

The setting enforcement is only for Whitelisted K-12 free accounts. While these settings are turned on by default for non K-12 Pro(singe license) and free accounts, for those accounts the settings can be modified and are not locked. I truly understand that this is inconvenient if the invitation URLs are not working for you and apologize that you’re facing this issue. If you could provide me your account details, impacted Webinar IDs, I will ask the team to look into it and try to help you.

Hi @shrijana.g,

Thank you for following through on this.

What we decided on doing is to do an urgent change in our application and to start setting passwords explicitly for all new webinars going forward, just to avoid any potential impact from future changes Zoom may decide to do on the password defaults.

Some of our accounts have more than 1 Pro licenses, so they should be expected to not be impacted by the recent changes from Zoom’s side.
However, as in the last couple of days we’ve seen in the Zoom web portal several unexpected changes in the password settings both in accounts which have both only 1 Pro license and in accounts which have more than 1 Pro license, we will be asking our webinar hosts to delete and re-create all already created and upcoming webinars, so that the webinars will have passwords set. While this is clearly inconvenient and would result in potentially confusing communications to webinar panelists and attendees, we would like to proactively avoid any unexpected surprises in Zoom’s behavior with regards to the password settings between now and the webinars’ scheduled times. Clearly, the worst case would be to have a failed webinar just because attendees cannot join it…

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Hey @v.hristov,

That is a good strategy, and apologies for the late notice on these changes.