A California church has filed a lawsuit against video conference company Zoom after a hacker allegedly accessed a bible study session to post graphic images of child abuse. The lawsuit filed by the Saint Paulus Lutheran Church says that a hacker took over the computers and played “sick and disturbing videos.”
The company has responded to the incident by saying that their hearts go out to those impacted and that on the same day it happened, they identified the offender, blocked his access to the platform, and reported them to authorities.
The leaders of the church say in the lawsuit that they contacted the service for help but the company did nothing. The lawsuit, which was filed to a federal court in San Jose on Wednesday, also says that its May 6 bible study session was taken over by a known offender who has been reported to authorities before.
The lawsuit adds that the members of the video conference tried to end the session and start a new one. But the hacker attacked again. Eight students were said to be in the session when the incident happened.
The incident is one of several that have been reported since the service began seeing a rise in popularity. Back in early April, the service was in the news after teachers in Singapore were told to suspend its use.
The video conferencing app was being used by teachers after authorities decided to suspend classes over the situation with the coronavirus. With the classes suspended, many teachers took Zoom to continue activities.
The idea of using Zoom while school was suspended came to an end after an incident took place during a class. One mother told local media that geography class was taken over by two men. The men asked the students to ”flash” and showed obscene images on the screen.
The BBC reported at the time that 39 students were in the class when the session was taken over. The class was stopped right after the session was taken over and the incident immediately drew a response from the government. The Ministry of Education said it was investigating while one official said the use of the service by teachers had been suspended until the issues were fixed.
A few days later, it was reported that the Ministry of Education had allowed schools to go back to the video app. The service has since rolled out security updates to make sure that users know how to keep their sessions safe and prevent any incidents from happening again.
The incident reported during the class came shortly after at least two others were reported in the United States. At the time, the service had been criticized for its security flaws and some companies had already told their employees or announced they would be using other apps to continue work at home.
Zoom’s video service had been around for years and was used by many before the situation with the coronavirus. But the lockdowns and companies telling employees to work at home have brought a huge rise in popularity to the service.
Zoom allows large groups of people to host a video conference. The service, which is available for PC, smartphones, and tablets, has become an option for companies who want to keep their employees up to date.