The Sun : Church sues after bible studies class was ‘Zoom bombed by child porn’ and left elderly worshippers ‘traumatized’

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A CHURCH is suing Zoom after its Bible study class was hacked and child sexual abuse was streamed to the elderly participants.

The "horrific" content was played during a virtual class held by the historic San Francisco-based Saint Paulus Lutheran Church, leaving the senior citizens "traumatized and helpless".

Saint Paulus Lutheran Church in San Francisco
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The eight Bible study students had their computers' control systems disabled while the hacker played pornographic videos.

The majority of the class' attendees were senior citizens, whose computer screens were "hijacked and their control buttons disabled while being forced to watch pornographic video footages," the law suit, which was filed Wednesday, said.

"The footages were sick and sickening – portraying adults engaging in sex acts with each other and performing sex acts on infants and children, in addition to physically abusing them," the suit alleged."

According to the court documents, which were submitted to San Jose federal court, the offender had "zoom bombed" the class on several occasions.

The elderly attendees were zoombombed with porn
Alamy

"Instead of providing Saint Paulus and its congregants with a password-protected and secure videoconferencing platform, Zoom allowed a 'known offender' — one who 'has been reported multiple times to the authorities' — to Zoom bomb the class," the suit alleged.

"Because of Zoom's utter failure in providing security, Saint Paulus's Bible-study class was Zoom bombed twice within minutes."

The church is seeking unspecified damages for negligence and privacy violations.

A spokesperson for Zoom condemned the incident as "horrific" and said their "hearts go out to those impacted".

"On the same day we learned of this incident, we identified the offender, took action to block their access to the platform and reported them to relevant authorities," the spokesperson said in a statement.

 

The trend of "zoom bombing", where a chat is hacked, has raised concerns about security and privacy for Zoom's users.

The spokesperson added: "We also encourage all meeting hosts to take advantage of Zoom's recently updated security features and follow other best practices, including making sure not to broadly share meeting IDs and passwords online, as appeared to be the case here."



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