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‘Disturbing Zoom-bombing’ incident hits Fresno State students, officials say

A “disturbing Zoom-bombing” incident took place during a remote advising session at Cal State Fresno this week, officials said Thursday.

Students and faculty were bombed with child pornography, public information officer Lisa Boyles said.

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, more businesses and schools have turned to virtual meetings, and social gatherings have been relegated to device screens. As daily Zoom users have increased from 10 million to 200 million from December to March, there’s been an influx of reported “bombings,” in which users infiltrate Zoom sessions and post unsettling images, often of racist slurs and pornography.

“We are actively working to educate our campus community about best practices they can put into place to secure online meetings and virtual instruction and prevent this from happening,” Boyles said.

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The university has used Zoom for several years and plans to continue to rely on the platform to conduct virtual instruction and remote work. Last week, university officials addressed concerns about Zoom in a statement shared with faculty and staff that singled out the free version of the the tool, which has posed the greatest security risk.

“The Fresno State community has found Zoom to be an effective and important tool to support virtual instruction and remote work. Most [California State University] campuses have been using Zoom for several years now and support its continued use while applying best practices to safeguard meetings from disruption,” Vice President for information technology and chief information officer Orlando Leon said in a campus-wide message.

In response to the bombings, Zoom is releasing a security update that is meant to help hosts better secure meetings and protect their data.


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