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Utah elementary school Zoom meeting hacked with pornography

April 3, 2020 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A video meeting hosted by the Alpine School District was hacked, revealing pornographic images to dozens of elementary school students in Utah earlier this week.

The incident happened Wednesday on a call with Grovecrest Elementary School Principal Kyle Hoopes, district spokesperson Kimberly Bird told KUTV-TV. The district was using the video conferencing service Zoom.

The images were on the screen for a few seconds, exposing up to 50 students, district spokesman David Stephenson told The Salt Lake Tribune.

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“It would be a good idea to talk with your children who may have heard or seen what was shared,” the school said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The school expects to continue to use Zoom for its weekly meetings, But it will take extra precautions, including password-protection, the statement said.

District administrators have met to reassess how video conferencing will be handled as the district continues online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re trying to provide a good experience for our students, and their safety is of the utmost (importance),” Stephenson said. “We’re very disappointed that someone out there would take this opportunity to Zoom-bomb an elementary school meeting.”

The school posted the meeting information on its Facebook page two hours before the call started, including a link to join.

The district has filed a report with the Pleasant Grove Police Department for investigation.

Zomb-bombing, or the hacking of Zoom calls, has been more frequent in recent weeks as new users join the platform amid lockdown orders and event cancellations.

Last week, a Zoom meeting with Utah Republican Party leaders was hacked and pornography was shown to all the participants.

The company has shared instructions on how to prevent such hacks on its YouTube page.

“We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s — and our own — privacy and security expectations. For that, I am deeply sorry ...” the company said in a statement on its blog.