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Using porn and slurs, ‘Zoom bombers’ strike KC area colleges. Here’s how to fight back

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By Mará Rose Williams, The Kansas City Star.

In the first week of online-only classes at Kansas State University in March, the student government senate convened for its first virtual meeting via Zoom, the video conferencing app Zoom. Senate leaders tweeted the link to the session “to be more accessible to students,” said Jansen Penny, student body president. About five minutes into the meeting “someone took over the screen and using the Zoom blackboard function started drawing explicit images,” Penny said. When the host tried to erase the images, more and more came up. Eventually the intruder put up a pornographic video. When the host tried to end the meeting, that function was locked and would not work. She had to power down her laptop to shut the meeting down. It’s called Zoom bombing, an unfortunate growing trend in the age of COVID-19 stay at home orders. […]

In Kansas City, Bret Knighton, president of Complete Technology Service, has spent the last few weeks securing remote setups for a lot of small businesses adhering to the city’s stay at home orders. “One reason this Zoom bombing is happening is because people have public sessions, they are open, so it is very easy to do,” Knighton said. Schools and companies need to be extra careful, he said. When employees are connected to a company’s system through a virtual private network, or VPN, if their laptop is vulnerable to hackers, so is the company system. […]

©2020 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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