Security

Govt minister’s Zoom webinar hijacked to display porn

We recently reported about the dangers associated with unaddressed security loopholes and unsecure usage of video conferencing apps like Zoom. A couple of days ago it was reported that hackers have been selling more than 500,000 authentic Zoom accounts and now a government minister had their video conferencing hijacked with pornographic content.

It is a fact that a majority of people are now forced to work from home and this has twofold the usage of Zoom in particular as it allows people to hold video meetings without requiring each of the participants to make a Zoom account.

However, the consequences of ignoring basic security practices could be far-reaching and somewhat embarrassing at times, and this is exactly what has happened in the case of a South African minister.

Reportedly, the South African Minister for Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana Mashabane hosted a public webinar on Wednesday using Zoom, which got hijacked. The webinar was supposed to educate people on the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable and at-risk members of society.




However, journalists were in for a surprise as they were shown pornography images instead of valuable information on the Coronavirus pandemic, and many thought that the department is broadcasting the images.

Left with no other choice to cover for the unfortunate and embarrassing incident, the Department issued a public apology via Twitter. The statement read:

“We wish to apologize for the meeting being hijacked by hackers. Yet another example of technology-assisted assault. We have reconvened the meeting in a more private setting. We hope to share a recording of the meeting soon.”

See: Someone hacked train station’ screen in India with Hardcore Porn

According to Shalen Gajadhar, the official spokesperson of the department, the webinar was broadcasted publicly to increase the attendance of the general public but hackers somehow hijacked the screen and displayed objectionable pictures. 

“We would like to unreservedly apologize for the incident where we had unsavory characters getting into the scheduled Zoom meeting and have shared nude images and propaganda. About 400 people had indicated interest to join the meeting and we couldn’t vet them because we had received requests just prior to the meeting.”

The department has promised the angry public that it will be tightening its security measures and announced to release the recording of the webinar soon. 




How to secure Zoom from hackers?

Hackread.com had an exclusive conversation with Beenu Arora who is CEO and Founder of cyber security firm Cyble. Beenu stated that since Zoom’s user base has expanded so rapidly and with all media coverage, researchers and hackers are looking into them more closely and finding these issues.”
 
He also highlighted security precautions that can be implemented to tackle the growing issue where Zoom is being targeted every now and then. 

1 – Enforce complex Zoom meeting passwords by default for all users

2 – Credential stuffing is a known issue in the industry, and the Zoom application is one of the hackers’ targets. 

3 – Users (and average consumers) are advised not to re-use their passwords on other apps and websites and monitor for potential data breaches via services such as HaveIbeenPwned and AmIbreached.com. Implement multi-factor authentication where possible

4- Organizations are encouraged to consider a data breach monitoring solution to reduce their exposure window and mitigate the risks.

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