Attorney General Ashley Moody warns of ‘Zoombombing’ during COVID-19 crisis

Att. General Ashley Moody 'Zoombombing' information during COVID-19 pandemic

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - A new trend called ‘Zoombombing’ is hacking into virtual meetings across the country and Attorney General Ashley Moody wants to warn Floridians about the dangers of it.

In a statement released today Moody explained, “Zoombombing occurs when hackers hijack internet video conferences, like those offered by the fast-growing platform Zoom.”

“These hackers often present inappropriate, offensive material or otherwise disrupt the conference,” Moody said.

“To practice social distancing while we continue to operate, my staff and I, like so many other agencies and businesses, are using technology to hold important meetings. My son, just like most students in Florida, is also participating in Zoom virtual learning with his teachers and classmates. So, I want Floridians to be aware that these meetings can be hijacked by hackers, but thankfully, there are some steps you can take to increase privacy and prevent Zoombombing.”

Children are also vulnerable to this hack as students in the state have switched to online classes due to the novel coronavirus crisis.

To increase privacy and guard against Zoombombing:

  • Create separate passwords for each virtual meeting;
  • Establish a Zoom waiting room for meeting participants;
  • Lock down the meeting once everyone invited to attend has joined; and
  • Do not publicly post meeting links on social media or any other public forum.

Zoom also offers privacy settings to provide hosts an additional level of protection.

To enable the extra security features, hosts should click on the settings menu, scroll down to “screen sharing,” find “who can share?” Then click on “host only.”

Finally, the user should save the changes. After saving the new preferences, subsequent meetings should enact these enhanced privacy features by default.

For more virtual meeting security tips, click here.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has reached out to Zoom to learn more about its encryption efforts and other proactive steps the company is taking to better protect its users.

Anyone who believes they are the victim of hacking or a COVID-19 related scam should contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or MyFloridaLegal.com.

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