It is one thing to be humiliated. It is another thing to post images of the incident on the Internet so that everyone can see them. Unfortunately, this is what happens to victims of hijacking attacks on the Zoom video conferencing service.
You can now easily find video footage of “zoom bombing” incidents on YouTube and TikTok. And some of the content is obnoxious and disturbing.
A video posted on YouTube shows the culprit who infiltrated church meetings held on Zoom to shout the words “child pornography”, “Heil Hiter” and “I am the devil” in front of more than a dozen people. In the same video, the abuser calls specific participants, saying that he wants to have sex with them.
In a separate video posted to YouTube, the Zoom bomber infiltrates a meeting that includes a woman holding a baby and yells obscenities at them. Another YouTube clip, with 97,000 views, features the hijacker telling a participant to “show her breasts” while calling another participant a “pedophile”.
PCMag easily found the videos on YouTube with the search terms “Zoom Raid” and “Zoom Trolling”. Queries resulted in more than two dozen Zoom Trolling and Zoom pranks videos. Later, YouTube’s algorithms started recommending them to us.
You can also find similar content on TikTok, which shows shorter clips of various Zoom hijacking incidents that blame teachers and disrupt online lessons with cursed words.
Why does this happen?
Hijackings happen because many users hold public meetings on Zoom without realizing that anyone, including malicious strangers, can attend the same gatherings. In some cases, the authors learn the Zoom sessions because the details of the meeting are shared on social media. In other cases, the hijackers deliberately ask people in online chats to publish the details of the Zoom meeting in order to “loot” them. On TikTok, we found many messages inviting users to share the details of upcoming Zoom meetings.
TikTok users asking Zoom meetings to “raid”.
As a result, a wave of hijacking incidents has taken place across the country, exposing users to childish pranks, as well as more serious forms of harassment, including racist taunts. However, victims of attacks may not realize that they are also registered. And by uploading the images, the authors not only expose victims to more embarrassment on YouTube and TikTok; they also infringe on their privacy.
On YouTube, the hijackers have posted videos of them infiltrating Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, which show the faces of the participants. In the same videos, Zoom bombers tell participants “I love alcohol” during an AA session while drawing a photo of Hitler and swastikas at the Narcotics Anonymous meeting.
Other videos show the culprits of online yoga sessions held on Zoom while participants perform the exercises. “I love looking at girls’ buttocks,” said a hijacker in a video. At the same time, Zoom sessions often display the full names of people during the stream, which is then uploaded to YouTube and TikTok.
Recording can happen because the authors are sitting behind a computer, which allows them to use desktop recording tools or even live streaming applications to record the images and download them from the Internet.
Zoom on the bombing clips that remain in place Thursday morning
It is less clear whether YouTube and TikTok will delete these videos. In the case of YouTube, the platform has strict rules against hate speech and sexual content. However, a company spokesperson told PCMag earlier this week that he had no specific policy against the Zoom bombing. So videos starring hijackers ridiculing people won’t be enough for disassembly. It will be up to the victims to file an abuse report, claiming that the video invades their privacy.
We have contacted YouTube and TikTok for comments on the videos we found, and we will update the story when we respond to you.
As for Zoom, the company announced on Wednesday that it now has more than 200 million attendees in daily meetings, up from just 10 million last December when the video conferencing service was an enterprise-focused application. “We did not design the product with the foresight that, in a few weeks, everyone in the world could suddenly work, study and socialize from home,” wrote Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, in a blog article. “We now have a much wider user base that uses our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges that we did not anticipate when the platform was designed.”
In response to the Zoom bombings and other privacy controversies the company faces, Zoom is transferring all of its engineering resources to trust and security projects. The company will also be subject to a third party audit to help it investigate platform security issues.
To prevent potential hijackers from entering your Zoom meetings, you can consult our guide or consult the Zoom blog on the subject. One of the main tips is to use the waiting room feature, which will allow you to invite your guests while preventing intruders.
Update: YouTube removed some of the videos, citing them for unwanted sexualization and hate speech. He also notes that victims in the published Zoom bombing clips can ask YouTube to remove the videos by filing a privacy complaint.
“We quickly delete content when it is reported by our users. Additionally, we have strong privacy guidelines to protect the privacy of all of our users. In the event that someone feels their privacy has been breached, they can file a complaint and we will investigate and delete any content that meets our guidelines, “added the company.
Despite the demolitions, many other Zoom bombing clips remain on YouTube and are easily searchable.