We Know Who's Behind Zoombombing

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We're all just trying to get through our workdays (or schooldays), and for many of us, that involves virtual meetings and video chats. Even our free time probably involves some kind of Zoom call, whether you're taking a class, attending a lecture, or just chatting with a group of friends and family. You may have been witness to intruders in one of these calls, some of whom may be committed to divebombing your screens with decidedly NSFW content.


Cybersecurity researchers have some bad news for us all: According to a study from Binghamton University, those "Zoombombing" calls are coming from inside that house. In other words, your designated room hasn't been hacked or forced open by malignant forces. Instead, someone with legitimate access to the meeting has leaked the login credentials on message boards or social media platforms and invited the whole Internet in.

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What's most frustrating is that because we're dealing with human behavior, rather than a technical issue, there's not a lot we can do about Zoombombing. Video chatrooms get targeted in real time, with no particular warning, and developers don't want to render the whole concept of video chat useless. "It's unlikely that there can be a purely technical solution that isn't so tightly locked up that it becomes unusable," said lead author Jeremy Blackburn. "Passwords don't work — that's the three-word summary of our research."


Ultimately, this has to be a management issue. Any situation in which employees are exposed to hate speech or inappropriate content should come with consequences — and, because the source of a leak can only be so many people, accountability.