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April 1, 2020, 2:24 p.m. EDT

‘Zoom bombers’ are disrupting classes, conference calls, even public forums as coronavirus pandemic puts our lives online

FBI’s field office in Boston issues warning

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By Tamar Lapin

Image from a blog post on the Zoom Video Communications website.

Even working from home isn’t fully safe.

Hackers have been hijacking videoconferences and online classrooms on the popular Zoom application, the FBI warned on Monday. “The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language,” read a warning from the agency’s Boston division.

There have been at least two instances of so-called Zoom bombing in Massachusetts, including one where someone hacked a school meeting and flashed swastika tattoos.

In another incident, a hacker dialed into an online class being conducted using the teleconferencing software, yelled profanities and shouted the teacher’s home address.

In Chicago, a virtual press conference called by members of the City Council and state legislature was interrupted with pornographic images , the news site Block Club Chicago reported.

The town board of Esopus, N.Y., had its meeting on Monday disrupted by a group who went on a racist rant and flashed screen shots from hate-group websites and Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +1.65%  pages, according to the Daily Freeman.

A recording of the Zoom /zigman2/quotes/211319643/composite ZM +0.97%  meeting will be turned over to authorities and hate-crime charges may be filed, councilman Christopher Farrell told the paper.

The feds issued tips for how to avoid getting hacked, including making meetings or classrooms on Zoom private, not sharing conference links on social media and managing screen-sharing options so only the host’s screen can be seen by others.

A version of this report appeared at NYPost.com.

From the MarketWatch archives (April 2019): Zoom Video IPO: 5 things to know about the videoconferencing company

Plus: Zoom Technologies soared 56,000% in the past 30 days — as unrelated Zoom Video prepared its IPO

US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 307.82
+5.00 +1.65%
Volume: 14.56M
April 15, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$862.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 332.38
+3.18 +0.97%
Volume: 3.36M
April 15, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$96.69 billion
Rev. per Employee

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