LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Video conferencing is on the rise as stay-at-home coronavirus mandates are prohibiting face-to-face meetings. Schools, workplaces, and families are using popular apps like Zoom to stay connected amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, some are also experiencing “zoombombing” — a new trend of hijacking public Zoom conferences and posting expletives and other lewd content.
With more than 200 people in a Zoom conference for the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Donnell Williams said his team fell victim to “zoombombing.”
Williams said a hacker continually yelled racist slurs and drew male genitalia on the screen.
“It’s just not right,” he said.
One mother said her 14-year-old daughter experienced similar harassment while on a Zoom call for a class through a modern Orthodox high school.
“The screens were completely black and they were saying all these anti-Semitic things…” she said. “And then one boy suddenly stripped and was naked.”
Across social media, hundreds of posts are circulating of “zoombombing” occurring across the country. This week, both Conejo Valley Unified School District and USC also fell victim to the hack.
“I think this is a mistake, and lesson learned” said Eric Yuan, the founder of Zoom.
Yuan said his business wasn’t prepared for so many novice users. Businesses that typically use Zoom require passwords for employees to access the conferences. The company will now put passwords in place for all users.