‘Zoom bombing:’ FBI probes hundreds of incidents involving child sexual abuse material

The coronavirus pandemic has moved many aspects of life virtually, making it convenient in the times of social distancing, but also an opportunity for criminals.

News 12 Staff

May 26, 2020, 2:11 PM

Updated 1,419 days ago

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The coronavirus pandemic has moved many aspects of life virtually, making it convenient in the times of social distancing, but also an opportunity for criminals. The FBI says, now, people can add what's known as "zoom bombing" to the list of serious, pandemic-related issues many have dealt with.
The FBI is probing hundreds of incidents involving child sexual abuse material.
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Companies, school districts, and even families hold gatherings on Zoom when, out of nowhere, some type of pornography shockingly appears.
The FBI is focused on those passing images involving child sexual abuse.
At last check, the FBI is looking into at least 195 such incidents.
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“We have approximately recorded 195 incidents in the United States and overseas of this material being broadcast during events,” says Gregory Takacs, FBI Assistant Special Agent in charge.
The images so disturbing, even the agents are monitored for mental health issues.
“We in the FBI know how bad these images are,” says Takacs. “Agents who are working this violation have to view this material for search warrants and for arrest. Parents are constantly monitored for mental health because of how violent and ugly this material is.”
Zoom has certainly been helpful for many since the pandemic began, so the FBI wants to quickly put an end to such material suddenly appearing.
“This material is not prank material,” says Takacs. “This isn’t a simple game. Access to this material in and of itself is a crime.”
The FBI has identified three avenues to protect yourself:
Make the meeting private and require a password and use the waiting room feature so the host can vet who is actually coming into the meeting.
When you receive the Zoom invite, do not share on social media.
The host can manage who is sharing the screen and who has access to share at any given time during a Zoom meeting.
“A combination of what works for you best, especially while you’re having that meeting, will definitely increase your chances of preventing the distribution of this material,” says Takacs.
If you believe you are a victim of a Zoom bombing, do not delete or destroy any of the material. Immediately contact the FBI, as the incident is the fingerprint in which they start an investigation.
Distribution and possession of child sexual abuse material results in at least five years or more in federal prison.


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