The Department of Justice and United States prosecutors’ offices warn that “zoom bombing” is illegal and that those involved can be charged with federal and state crimes.
With more and more people working from home or doing distance training due to the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom video conferencing software has become widely used for remote meetings, online classrooms, classrooms family and friends.
Since then, people have overwritten, or bombed by Zoom, online meetings to save them as pranks to share on YouTube and TikTok or to spread hatred, offensive images and even threatening language.
Zoom meeting IDs are also exchanged and shared on the Discord, Reddit and hackers forums according to ZDNet where they are used to conduct Zoom raids that hijack and disrupt an online meeting or class.
Zoom bombing is illegal
In a press release posted on the Department of Justice website, US prosecutors for Michigan said those involved in the bombing could be charged with federal and state crimes that could result in fines and prison terms.[[[[
“Do you think the Zoom bombing is funny?” Let’s see how funny it is after your arrest, “said Matthew Schneider, a US lawyer for eastern Michigan. “If you interfere with a conference call or public meeting in Michigan, you may have federal, state or local authorities knocking on your door. “
If a person is hacked or disrupts meetings, classrooms and online conferences, the fees may include:
- disrupt a public meeting
- computer intrusion
- use a computer to commit a crime
- hate crimes
- transmit threatening communications.
This week, the FBI published a notice of the Zoom bombing attacks and asked the victims of hijacking by teleconference to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
BleepingComputer has created a comprehensive guide on how to secure online meetings from Zoom bombing attacks.
If you regularly host Zoom meetings for fun, professional or educational purposes, it is strongly recommended that you read the above guide and always ensure that you password protect your meetings and do not post invitations publicly.