Teleconferences being ‘hijacked’ with porn, hate images and threatening language

National News

Credit: FBI

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Officials are warning anyone using video-teleconferencing to be aware of potential “hijacking” and cybersecurity breaches.

The FBI has received multiple reports of teleconferences set up through Zoom being disrupted by pornographic as well as hate images and threatening language.

Michigan Attorney General Nessel issued a consumer alert to make people aware of the situation.

“We were alerted to this problem by a Michigan reporter who participated in a Zoom conference that was hijacked,” said Nessel in a written statement. “Since then we have learned of other incidents around the country. There are steps people can take to protect their cybersecurity and we encourage all users to follow the proper procedures to ensure their teleconferences are secure.”

Schools using the technology to conduct classroom exercises have also reported interruptions in video-teleconferencing sessions.

The FBI has tips to reduce the possibility of being hijacked:

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control which guests are admitted.
  • Provide the link directly to specific people. Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post.
  • Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”
  • All users should have updated versions of applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated its software. In the security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.
  • Make sure your organization has or develops a policy for physical and information security.

The FBI asks victims of teleconference hijacking, or any cyber-crime, to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

More Coronavirus Live Blogs

Trending Stories

Don't Miss