FBI Warns Zoom Users of Hackers “Zoom-bombing”


Zoom, the video conferencing program, blew up in terms of users recently. Millions of people around the world are working from home since the novel coronavirus put the world in a pandemic state. Zoom allows users to connect with each other via video and audio calls.


However, Zoom isn’t only used by adults who are working from home and attending daily to weekly conference calls with their fellow employees. Zoom is available for anyone to use, including the vulnerable population of school-aged children.


As everyday users of the video conference platform are on the rise, so are those with more malicious intent: hackers.


Last month (April 2, 2020), a school in Long Island was targeted by these hackers.


A young girl (14) was attending an online class at her Modern Orthodox high school when two boys appeared in the call. The girl’s mother spoke for her daughter to authorities and news outlets saying, “First, the screens were completely black, and they were saying all these anti-Semitic things, cursing them out, saying you f***ing Jews, et cetera. And then one boy suddenly stripped and was naked.”


As many of these new Zoom users are new to the platform and are using it with little instruction, they are not aware of all of the security features and how to utilize them. If they are don’t secure their meetings to unknown users, they are at risk of hackers like these.


The founder and CEO of Zoom, Eric Yuan spoke with the authorities and explained that Zoom was not prepared or equipped for the massive, sudden influx of users. He said that this hacking experience is a, “mistake and lesson learned.”


As it stands, there are no training videos that come with a free (or paid) subscription of Zoom and while you may password-protect your calls and conferences, it is not required. Zoom’s CEO called this lack of security and education and “oversight” by the company and takes full blame for the breach(es).


In another circumstance, hackers infiltrated a conference of more than 200 “well-respected” members of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. Their experience with the hackers was more of the same; racial slurs and pornographic images.


In order to protect users, Zoom put in place a few added safety measures. All accounts are now password protected and schools (K-12) will be using a feature called the “waiting room” in which users are in limbo until the call organizer accepts them into the room. Without being accepted, the users in the “waiting room” will not be able to see or hear anyone in the call and no one will be able to see them either.


Since the multiple incidents, Zoom has released many other tools to increase security of Zoom calls such as, “how to better secure a virtual classroom” and instructions for setting one up.


It is too early to tell if these efforts will completely prevent hackers in the future but being aware of them is the first step to ensuring your safety.


If you are concerned about your companies vulnerability with online meetings or anything else contact us at Texas Data and Voip Security. We’d be glad to do an assessment of your network and help give you the tools to keep it safe and secure.


Texas Data and VoIP where we turn I.T. chaos into productivity. Keeping your business on the forefront of technology is pertinent in today’s ever-changing market. As we continue to stay at the leading edge of technology our goal is to help you understand how to make technology work for you and your business.


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