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Kiddie Porn Hacking Zoom Meetings

Here in Michigan’s beautiful lower peninsula, businesses are doing things much the same way as businesses all over the state. During these unprecedented times, we’ve all come to rely on online services and apps much more heavily than we did when meeting in person was safer. Which means that a huge number of meetings and interactions are taking place online using platforms like Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, and Intrado. 

A graphic of people's faces on a computer screen. They are each in their own little box, as if they're in an online meeting, like Zoom.

But while digital meetings provide a lot of benefits, including the ability to safely communicate one-on-one or in large groups from home, there are downsides to the software as well. One specific issue has left many people horrified, and the FBI scrambling to track hackers who are targeting unsuspecting meeting attendees around the country with images and videos of explicit child pornography. What? Kiddie porn could pop up during my office Zoom meeting? Yup! 

It’s happening in Michigan and all over the country!

It happened in a California town hall videoconference on sexual violence that was interupted by an anonymous user, who hacked the Zoom meeting and posted a video depicting child sexual abuse. The very next day it happened again out west when a public library’s online trivia night was hacked and “zoombombed” with child porn videos. A few days later right here in the midwest, the same thing happened again. This time a Board of Education meeting on Zoom was hacked and a few seconds of a child porn video was shown. 

And we certainly didn’t escape the reaches of Zoom hackers either here in Michigan. Several Michigan organizations reported being zoombombed with hate speech and kiddie porn during online meetings, which led FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono to tell Michigan residents that while they’re sheltering in place they need to practice “good cyber hygiene.” 

Mid-Michigan school districts are particularly vulnerable right now!

The Lansing School District has come to rely heavily on Zoom to facilitate meetings between their staff members as they prepare for the summer and the coming school year. A fact that makes them particularly vulnerable to this problem. And they aren’t the only ones. Many school districts in the area, from Detroit on the East side of the state to Grand Rapids on the west coast, all used online teleconferencing to allow students to communicate with teachers during quarantine, and now among their staff as they plan for the fall semester.

“You think Zoom bombing is funny?” said Matthew Schneider, United States Attorney for Eastern Michigan, in response to these incidents. “Let’s see how funny it is after you get arrested.” He went on to explain that if anyone interferes with a teleconference or public meeting in Michigan, they could have “federal, state, or local law enforcement knocking at their door.” Which is serious stuff. Here in Michigan, hacking a teleconference could result in all sorts of charges, including computer intrusion, using a computer to commit a crime, hate crimes, fraud, or transmitting threatening communications. Sheriff’s departments in Ingham, Eaton, Livingston, Clinton, and Jackson Counties are all taking this insanity very seriously. But then again, prison time is pretty serious stuff anyway. 

If you’re facing charges of computer crimes, you’ll need help!

Here at The Kronzek Firm, we have helped many people from Lansing, Grand Ledge, Howell, Ovid, and other surrounding areas to fight criminal charges. We know how complicated it can be to defend against kiddie porn and computer crime allegations, and we have access to some of the nation’s best forensic expert witnesses to help us construct strong defenses and protect our client’s rights.

If you or a loved one have been accused of hacking a teleconference call or live online meeting, call 866 766 5245 immediately. Whether you’ve already been arrested, or the police are just questioning you, we can help. Don’t wait and jeopardize your future or your freedom. Call the people who can aggressively defend you – the skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm. We’re here for you. You can reach us 24/7 by calling us at 866-7NoJail.  (866-766-5245)

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