Pension PlayPen coffee morning “Zoom-bombed”.

At yesterday’s Pension PlayPen coffee morning, uninvited strangers crashed a Zoom meeting on CDC and pension scamming. A number of hackers interrupted the introductions,

When Con Keating started presenting.  a Zoom bomber scribbled all over the screen, forcing the meeting to end early.

As people and businesses have become increasingly reliant on video chatting since the coronavirus pandemic began,  “Zoom bombing” incidents continue to be a problem. A disruption specific to the teleconferencing app Zoom, which has recently surged in popularity, this vulnerability has been been exploited by hackers, with disturbing results.

Zoom hacking issues like this are happening all over the world, from over-the-Internet Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to sensitive, high-level government gatherings. Here’s how Zoom bombings work, and, more importantly, how to prevent them.

What is Zoom bombing?

Many Zoom bombing incidents have amounted to a form of trolling. Hackers gain access to a Zoom meeting and attempt to disrupt the video chat and upset participants by shouting profanity or racial slurs, or putting disturbing or offensive images in their video feed. This is precisely what happened yesterday.

Preventing Zoom bombing

The linked article explains how Zoom users can prevent yesterday’s on-line mayhem. Link here.

What is happening to yesterday’s meeting?

For the immediate future, Pension Playpen coffee mornings will be held on Teams and the URLs will only be available to Pension Playpen members who have signed in to http://www.pensionplaypen.com.

The meeting that would have occurred yesterday has now been put back to today at 11am. We hope that a proportion of  the very large number of attendees at yesterday’s coffee morning will return again today.

As Chair of Pension Playpen, I apologise.

The chaos and mayhem that came to our meeting yesterday served no useful purpose. Hopefully, no-one lost control of their computers or have found their software infected (why we closed the meeting down).

Zoom is a great tool, but it appears it still presents hackers with opportunities. We will be more careful with the distribution of invites in future and will focus on using the less flexible, but seemingly more secure – Teams software, in future.

Having been part of the promotion of the event yesterday, I take my share of the blame for the under-par security of the event and can promise that lessons will be learned.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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