US church sues after bible study ‘Zoombombed’ by child abuse
A California church sued Zoom video chat company after a hacker allegedly seized a virtual Bible study course to publish graphic images of child abuse.
A hacker took over users’ computers and played “sick and disturbing videos”, according to the lawsuit filed by the Lutheran Church of Sao Paulo.
Church leaders in San Francisco contacted Zoom for help, but the company “did nothing,” says the case.
In a statement, a Zoom spokesman condemned the “horrible event”.
“Our hearts go to the affected,” said the company, “The same day we learned about this incident, we identified the offender, took steps to block their access to the platform and reported it to the appropriate authorities.”
The company indicated its “recently updated security features,” adding that Zoom users should not widely share meeting access and passwords “as seems to be the case” with the church group.
The popularity of the Zoom video chat app has skyrocketed in recent months for work and leisure as virus blocking measures have kept millions at home.
The inflated use came with careful monitoring of its security and privacy measures, with news of the so-called “Zoombombing” – where uninvited guests sneak into meetings, sometimes posting racist, offensive or explicit content.
Saint Paulus Church – one of San Francisco’s oldest churches – said in the lawsuit, filed before a San Jose federal court on Wednesday, that his May 6 Bible study course was violated by a “notorious criminal – one referred to the authorities several times “.
The eight students who study the Bible, mostly retirees, have disabled their computer’s control systems while the hacker plays pornographic videos.
“The footage was sick and nauseous: they portrayed adults engaged in sexual acts with each other and performed sexual acts on infants and children, as well as physically mistreating them,” says the cause.
When the students tried to end the video session and start again, the hacker attacked again, the lawsuit says.
The church has filed a lawsuit against San Jose’s Zoom. It is seeking unspecified damages for claims of negligence, violation of the implied contract, unfair enrichment and unfair commercial practices.
The conference giant publishes an update of its security measures this week in a blog post, which promised additional security features, including plans to build end-to-end encryption. He was previously criticized for incorrectly claiming that the app already had the feature, which means that only participating users can access messages and videos.