FBI warns of ‘Zoom bombings,’ hackers exploiting children amid coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus

(WTNH) — Right now, more people than ever are using the popular conference app Zoom to hold meetings and as classrooms.

Unfortunately, some people are hacking their way into the program, looking to do harm, which caused the FBI to issue a warning.

Investigators said parents should know that unless they check certain privacy settings, Zoom calls are easy to crash, and the FBI is concerned that someone “bombing” the call could try to exploit a child.

“They injected information or behavior that was objectionably given to the audience,” said special agent Michael Syrax. “In some cases, it’s been profanity or racially motivated statements, or in some cases, it’s been sexually explicit behavior.”

RELATED: Zoom facing class-action lawsuit for allegedly sharing user data with third parties, including Facebook

Syrax said there are a few easy ways to protect yourself, your family and your co-workers.

First, don’t advertise your address to the chatroom. Also, make sure to require an access key or password to enter. When it comes to children, known what apps they are using, and make sure to talk with them about who they are chatting with online.

Zoom issued the following statement to ABC News:

We take the security of Zoom meetings seriously and we are deeply upset to hear about the incidents involving this type of attack. For those hosting large, public group meetings, we strongly encourage hosts to review their settings and confirm that only the host can share their screen. For those hosting private meetings, password protections are on by default and we recommend that users keep those protections on to prevent uninvited users from joining.

If your meeting is hacked, call your local FBI office right away.

More information can be found online.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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