Public forum hosted by South Australian Tourism Commission ‘Zoombombed’ with pornography


Public forum hosted by South Australian Tourism Commission ‘Zoombombed’ with pornography

A public forum hosted online by Events South Australia yesterday had to be cut short after it was inundated with pornography in the latest round of so-called Zoombombing.

The free public webinar was launched by the SA Tourism Commission’s [SATC] sponsorship arm to assist the industry through difficulties stemming from coronavirus social restrictions.

But within minutes of beginning on the video conferencing platform Zoom, the event had been inundated with pornography and “nasty” dialogue.

Deb Budich from DBusiness Events participated in the webinar and said it had been set up for “all the right reasons”.

“We’ve got all these fantastic events people here who are desperate for information and it was going to be delivered,” she told ABC Radio Adelaide’s Breakfast program.

“It’s called Zoombombing and it’s been happening fairly consistently around the world.”

FBI urges caution

An Events South Australia spokesperson said they wanted to help the industry with “their forward planning for hosting COVID-safe events”.

“As soon as we realised the disruption could not be managed, we ended the webinar.”

The FBI earlier this year urged Zoom users not to make meetings public or share passwords, after receiving reports of unidentified people invading workplace meetings on the app.

Unwanted guests were posting offensive content or pornography, often accompanied by abusive language.

Schools were among those impacted, with Zoom subsequently adjusting its settings for educational accounts.

Experts have also warned Zoom’s lack of end-to-end encryption made it possible for hackers to predict the randomly generated ID numbers assigned to Zoom meetings and join in.

Passwords ‘publicly shared’

Ms Budich said the password and meeting links were shared to “a lot of people” and posted on social media.

She said her own company used a different system that was private and required users to be registered before they could receive a meeting link.

“I think people need to realise that Zoom is really more for small, private, personal meetings and not large forums,” Ms Budich said.

“I feel for them [SATC] because I know they were trying to do the right thing, and there were so many people on that meeting desperate for information.”

Events SA said the webinar would be rescheduled for next week.

First published on ABC News. 

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