FBI Warns of ‘Zoom-Bombing’
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced hundreds of thousands of people, professionals and students alike to utilize Zoom, a popular videoconferencing platform, to stay connected. Zoom has grown in popularity upon statewide ‘stay-at-home’ orders back in March 2020. As a result, many people depend on the platform to host business meetings, online classrooms and personal calls until life goes back to normal, whenever that may be.
In the meantime, you must be warned of a recent threat to Zoom videoconferences. ‘Zoom-bombing’ has emerged nationwide and impacted countless groups and individuals. The FBI released a report describing Zoom-bombing and its impacts; it reported receiving several complaints of conferences being disrupted by “pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.”
Zoom-bombing is a type of cyberattack that hijacks people’s conferences to display inappropriate, personal and racist content. While these hijackers may believe it’s a funny joke, they may suffer serious legal punishments as a result. Zoom-bombing comes in various forms, with recent cases including:
- A Massachusetts teacher was conducting an online Zoom class when an unidentified individual(s) dialed into the classroom and yelled a profanity, then shouted the teacher’s home address in the middle of instruction.
- Another Massachusetts school reported a Zoom meeting was being accessed by an unidentified individual who was visible on the video camera and displayed swastika tattoos.
- A California State University, Long Beach doctorate student was presenting his dissertation via Zoom, when someone started drawing male genitalia on the screen followed by a racial slur.
- A New York Alcoholics Anonymous was Zoom-bombed by cyber-trolls shouting misogynistic and anti-Semitic slurs, along with unsettling references to drinking.
- Arizona State University and the University of Southern California reported similar incidents of Zoom-bombers displaying and commenting racist, misogynistic, vulgar and pornographic content in online classrooms.
Accused of Zoom-Bombing? We Can Defend You.
The FBI along with all law enforcement agencies are on high alert for Zoom-bombers. These acts constitute federal cybercrimes, meaning they carry federal consequences: Prison, fines, a criminal record and a lifetime of shame.
You may think it’s a lighthearted prank, but the law says otherwise. Thus, you should depend on our San Antonio criminal defense attorneys to leverage their invaluable insight to strengthen your defense. Two of our lawyers are specialists in criminal defense, meaning we have the utmost expertise that is needed to fight your federal charges.