BRECKSVILLE, Ohio (WJW) — The Brecksville-Broadviews Heights School District is working with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to track down whoever hacked a Zoom meeting of the Board of Education Thursday night and displayed several seconds of “explicit child pornography” on the screen, the district said.
“The BBHCSD will neither tolerate such a reprehensible exploitation of children, not such a blatant attack on our public meetings,” Joell Magyar, Superintendent of Schools, said in an email sent to parents. She called the hack “heinous.”
Magyar said participants in the meeting were required to register and law enforcement is already working to track down the IP addresses of everyone who attended the meeting.
“We will find the individuals who selfishly, disgracefully and in the vilest manner possible exploited children and attempted to sabotage our meeting,” Magyar said.
Magyar said that screenshots of the “explicit sexual acts involving a minor” were shared on social media.
“Please be advised that sharing child pornography is illegal and considered a felony,” she said.
She said law enforcement will prosecute anyone who shared the images.
She also said the district is looking for alternative video conference platforms.
Teachers in the district were told to “cease from using the Zoom platform as we identify different secure options.”
“We sincerely apologize for any harm or distress this incident has caused for those who attended tonight’s Board Meeting,” Magyar said.
She urged anyone with information to contact the district or the Brecksville or Broadview Heights police departments.
The practice of hacking Zoom meetings has become known as “Zoombombing.”
Zoom provided the following statement to FOX 8 News:
“This incident is truly devastating and appalling, and our user policies explicitly prohibit any obscene, indecent, illegal or violent activity or content on the platform. We are looking into this specific incident to ensure the appropriate action is taken. Zoom strongly condemns such behavior and recently updated several features to help our users more easily protect their meetings. We have enabled meeting passwords and virtual waiting rooms by default for users enrolled in our K-12 school program, as well as our Free Basic and Single Pro users. For users enrolled in our K-12 program, we have also updated the default screen share settings to ensure teachers are the only ones who can share content in class . For all users, we have made the Zoom Meeting ID less visible to help prevent unintended sharing, and we have added a new Security icon to the Zoom meeting controls for all hosts to help them quickly access in-meeting security features, including the ability to remove participants and lock meetings, among other actions. In the latest version of Zoom, there is a new ‘Report a User’ feature in the Security icon for meeting hosts and co-hosts to flag users, who are misusing the platform, to our Trust & Safety team. We encourage users to report any incidents of this kind either to Zoom so we can take appropriate action or directly to law enforcement authorities.”
*Click play on the video player below to hear about a hack involving racial slurs and pornographic images against a school in Illinois.