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Hackers are crashing Zoom meetings with child porn, attorney general says

A hacker displayed child pornography during a Zoom meeting for a Texas school last month, the FBI says. Florida's attorney general is warning the state about the issue here.
A hacker displayed child pornography during a Zoom meeting for a Texas school last month, the FBI says. Florida's attorney general is warning the state about the issue here.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Zoombombing has become an issue with more people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of these hackers are now hijacking online video meetings and showing child pornography, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody says.

Moody, in a warning to state residents Thursday, said she is working with local law enforcement to prevent the disturbing trend.

“It’s heartbreaking that anyone would exploit children in this manner, but child pornography is pervasive online,” she said in a news release. “It’s disgusting and illegal. When hackers hijack meetings and force participants to view these disturbing images, we must ensure we have an immediate, aggressive and coordinated law enforcement response. That is why I am working with our great law enforcement agencies to track down Zoombombers and hold them accountable for the victimization of our children.”

The FBI was investigating such a case involving a Zoom meeting for a school in Texas last month.

Anyone experiencing Zoombombing that involves illegal images is encouraged to call local police and can also report child abuse in Florida to 1-800-962-2873, Moody says.

The attorney general also provided tips to prevent hackers from breaking into video conferences:

  • Create separate passwords for each virtual meeting
  • Establish a Zoom waiting room for meeting participants
  • Lock down the meeting once everyone invited to attend has joined
  • Do not publicly post meeting links on social media or any other public forum

About the Author:

David Selig is the Digital Executive Producer at WPLG, overseeing Local10.com.