The Zoom videoconferencing platform, which gained popularity in times of the new coronavirus pandemic as an alternative to work meetings and classes, also saw an increase in so-called “kidnapped” by users who should not be part of the original conversation.
The information comes from the FBI, which has received several reports of intrusions to ongoing video calls. The cases occur in a similar way: during a class or meeting, people who were not invited appear on the platform and start broadcasting offensive content on their screens – ranging from pornographic videos to hate speech. According to the Bleeping Computer website, in several cases, those responsible for the game film or capture the content of the screen to later publicize the feat on their networks.
In one of the incidents that occurred now in late March and will be investigated by agents, a user even interrupted a class “shouting profane terms and divulging the teacher’s personal address”. In others, an individual showed his own swastika tattoos on his webcam.
How to protect yourself
The call hijackings are not part of an elaborate hacking scheme or a vulnerability in the platform – although the company has dealt with similar security flaws earlier this year, all of which have already been fixed by system updates. In fact, the invasion occurs in the simplest possible way: accessing the link that leads to the ongoing videoconference.
That is, if you are going to do or attend an important class or work meeting, stay tuned to some basic safety tips released by the FBI itself:
Do not make your video conference rooms public, even if they are casual chats between friends, and ask for a password or prior approval from each visitor.
Do not share the address of the call on social networks: prefer to disclose the address in closed systems and groups or individually.
Allow only the host of the conversation to share the content of your screen with others.
Ensure that all call participants have the Zoom app updated to the latest version.