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A new internet trend called "Zoombombing" may be an inside job.
Video conferencing app Zoom has come under fire in recent days for security vulnerabilities and privacy issues as more people use the platform for work and school amid coronavirus lockdown, and some of the Zoombombing raids are being aided by students sharing the private classroom information on social media.
One such security vulnerability highlights "zoombombing," which is when internet trolls join and disrupt Zoom meetings with inappropriate and sometimes even violent comments or pictures on professional conferences.
The FBI sent out an alert on Zoombombing on Monday and gave two examples of classroom Zoom sessions in which attackers yelled profanity and showed images of Swastikas.
An initial look at the issue revealed that strangers have been entering public or unsecured Zoom meetings and disrupting them; sometimes the disruptions are dangerous, and sometimes they are harmless and funny.
A number of social media users have posted videos of funny Zoombombing incidents to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which has apparently driven increased demand for the act, and now, students are actively asking strangers to Zoombomb or "Zoom raid" their virtual classrooms to spice up their isolated lessons.
Students are calling for "Zoom raids" all over Twitter and sharing their meeting codes with strangers online, thus inviting them into closed meetings to disrupt sessions.
There are even accounts dedicated to sharing meeting codes so people will see them and "raid" meetings upon request.
"Zoom takes its users’ privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working around-the-clock to ensure that hospitals, universities, schools, and other businesses across the world can stay connected and operational. We appreciate the New York Attorney General’s engagement on these issues and are happy to provide her with the requested information," Zoom said in a statement.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan told CNBC on Thursday that the company did not foresee such a large influx of users and the complications that come with those users in a matter of months.
"I think this is a mistake and lesson learned," he said.
He added that Zoom should require passwords for meetings and Zoom training for users to avoid these kinds of issues, which he said the company should have looked into sooner.
"When we offer the free service, we should have a training session, we should enable a password," Yuan told the cable news station. "Looking back, we should have done that. Absolutely. This is our oversight."
This article has been updated to include Zoom's statement.