An online Bible study session has been victim of Zoom-bombing which led this San Francisco Church to file a lawsuit against Zoom claiming that the video conferencing company failed to protect its users.
On Wednesday, Saint Paulus Lutheran Church filed a lawsuit after a hijacker infiltrated a church Bible study session last week to show child porn to attendees, many of whom were senior citizens.
Due to the wake of the COVID-19, the church began hosting the Bible study session on the Video conferencing app. The meeting session was promoted on the church’s Facebook and Twitter posts. According to the lawsuit details, the conference was password-protected.
Even though the meeting was “password-protected”, an intruder with name “Christine (iPad)” entered the meeting. After this intruder entered the meeting, pornographic video began to run on all participants’ computers in full-screen mode and with audio at loud. Some of the videos included physical abuse of children and sexual acts.”
The person that was hosting the video conference couldn’t stop the intruder, neither the participants couldn’t stop the screen share, they also couldn’t get the intruder out of the video meeting. And according to the lawsuit details, none of the security functions that the App have worked to end the bad moment at the virtual meeting.
The incident was reported by the church’s administrator to Zoom. The response they received was that they identified the intruder and blocked the access and joining to the platform. The lawsuit claims the following: “But Zoom refused to take any further action to remedy the situation or to improve the security of its video conferences. Shockingly, Zoom admitted that the intruder was a ‘known serial offender who disrupts open meetings by showing the same video,’ and had been reported multiple times to authorities.”
“It is incredible to say how Zoom failed to protect Saint Paulus’s Bible-study class from a ‘serial offender’ who has been ‘reported multiple times to the authorities,’” the lawsuit also adds.
The company is striving to improve the product’s security and privacy functions, which include new safeguards, requiring passwords for new and previously scheduled meetings, as turning on the “warming room” feature for all users. We sadly admit that this new functions may not be easy for all the users to understand.
The lawsuit also adds the following: “Zoom prioritizes profit and revenue over data protection and user security while millions of users in the United States registered with Zoom based on its false advertisements and rely on Zoom’s platform to conduct their business during this pandemic.”
In a statement, Zoom said: “We were deeply upset to hear about this incident, and our hearts go out to those impacted by this horrific event. Words cannot express how strongly we condemn such behavior. On the same day we learned of this incident, we identified the offender, took action to block their access to the platform and reported them to the relevant authorities.”
“We encourage users to report any incidents of this kind either to Zoom so we can take appropriate action or directly to law enforcement authorities. We also encourage all meeting hosts to take advantage of Zoom’s recently updated security features and follow other best practices, including making sure not to broadly share meeting IDs and passwords online, as appeared to be the case here.“