Saturday, August 13, 2022

Hackers Zoom bomb WJCC high school classes with porn

Warhill High School (WYDaily/File photo)
Two high schools at Williamsburg-James City County Schools were exposed to “inappropriate content” when a user “Zoom bombed” the virtual high school classrooms. (WYDaily/File photo)

Some high school students at Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools were exposed to “inappropriate content” during a Zoom class on Friday.

Both Jamestown High School and Warhill High School had hackers join the Zoom meeting with an inappropriate picture as their profile.

WJCC spokeswoman Eileen Cox confirmed the “inappropriate content” was pornography and said in both cases the users were removed from the Zoom “right away,” with the teachers kicking them out in “less than a minute.”

Parents in both classes were contacted by school administration, specifically the principals, about the incident, she added.

“For less than a minute, this profile picture that was inappropriate was up,” Cox said.

She said teachers checked the settings of the Zoom meeting to see if the entrance was locked, too.

The school division is still investigating the incident at Jamestown High School to see if the “Zoom bomber” is a current student or a hacker using a student’s name.

“They are still looking into that,” she said. “If this is a student, and our school admin tracks that down then, they will face disciplinary consequences in accordance with the student code of conduct.”

She said the division does not believe the person who accessed the Zoom session at Warhill High School was a student.

So how secure are these systems used by students and how does WJCC plan to prevent similar incidents in the future?

Since the school year started, students have been using their school division email and password to log into Zoom through the division’s database.

Last spring, the students were not using their school log in information to access Zoom classes, she added.

In response to the incidents, Cox said the division is checking the settings and changing the log in information.

She noted the division already has some firewalls in place and students who use the division issued devices already have the school’s security system.

Cox said she thinks other school districts across the country are having the same issues with Zoom bombing.

“But I would just say, as soon as you set firewalls and have security measures in place, someone is going to find a way to try and get through those,” she said. “Unfortunately when people want to do bad things, they are going to try to find a way to do that…and again I think that unfortunately it is not a problem that is unique to WJCC Schools.”

“As soon as you can create a lock , someone is gong to find a way to pick it.”

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Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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