Zoombombing: South Africa Parliament Video Call Hacked With Explicit Images and Racial Slurs
Work from home during these trying Coronavirus times is the new mantra. Even senators and parliament are forced to use Zoom or other video conferencing tools to stay connected and pass the legislation necessary for running the country. However, even the parliamentarians are not free from Zoombombing.
On Thursday, hackers disrupted a virtual meeting of South African lawmakers with Zoombombing. The hackers Zoombombed into the video conference of the South African lawmakers and flooded it with pornographic images. They then proceeded to hurl racial and sexual insults at the meeting’s chairwoman, Thandi Modise, who is the speaker of the National Assembly.
Ms.Modise was left shell shocked after the incident according to sources. She said that she did not want to be exposed again to the pornography and racial insults that disrupted a meeting of the National Assembly’s programming committee on Thursday morning. It was apparent that hackers singled out Ms.Modise for verbal insults.
Ms.Modise told reporters that she will never use Zoom App again
“It is not only the South African Parliament that they have failed, that one in the UK has also been failed by Zoom. So, I am very sceptical of going back to Zoom, I must express that. I do not want to be exposed to what I was exposed to this morning, I do not think the country deserves that.”
South Africa’s parliament is closed and all its meetings are currently held by video conference calls as the country remains under strict lockdown restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
What is Zoombombing?
Zoom has been facing criticism internationally as a result of reports of hackers who disrupt meetings by posting offensive content using a mode called Zoombombing. “Zoombombing,” happens when uninvited attendees break into and disrupt your meeting. It can be easy to Zoombomb a meeting. In many cases, a simple Google search for URLs that include “Zoom.us” can turn up the unprotected links of multiple meetings that anyone can jump into. Similarly, links to public meetings can be found scattered across organizational pages on social media.
Zomb-bombing, or the hacking of Zoom calls, has been frequent in recent weeks as new users join the platform amid the battle against the spread of COVID-19 and the cancellations of public meetings and events. While a Zoom session is in progress, hackers with the previous knowledge of the meeting, hijack the session by saying or showing things that are lewd, obscene, racist, or antisemitic in nature till the compromised Zoom session is shut down by the host.
The hackers then proceed to post the video of the Zoombombed video on social media accounts like TikTok or YouTube.