Take these steps and suggested tips for meeting security on the platform you use for conference calls to securely “lock down” your video conference.
By Family Lawyer Magazine Staff
Based on reporting from CNN, on Friday, September 11th, a federal court hearing held on Zoom about Georgia’s use of electronic voting machines was interrupted when screens suddenly were filled with photos of the 9/11 attacks and pornography.
The disturbance happened about 2.5 hours into Friday’s hearing when someone joined by video and immediately began sharing their screen, said Bryan P. Tyson, a lawyer for the state of Georgia in the case. Suddenly, a variety of images of 9/11 filled the screen and a loud audio track began to play, lasting for about a minute, before it switched to a pornographic slide for a few seconds.
More than 100 people were on the call, which the court quickly shut down and resumed an hour later, Tyson told CNN. He said he has no idea who did it, but said he did see “a young man appear briefly on the screen.”
This is a typical scenario of Zoomboming: an unwanted, disruptive intrusion by Internet trolls and hackers, into a video conference call. The term is especially associated with and is derived from the name of the Zoom video conferencing software program, but it has also been used to refer to the phenomenon on other video conferencing platforms.
Zoombombing is back?!
The term “Zoomboming” was popularized in March, 2020, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to stay at home and Zoom video conferencing is used on a large scale by businesses, schools, and social groups. Zoom announced it was stepping up its security measures to combat Zoombombing. But by April, many companies, government agencies, and countries banned the use of zoom due to their concern over Zoom’s privacy and security issues. They include Google, SpaceX, NASA, Taiwan, the United States Senate, New York City’s Department of Education. Many have turned to other video conferences tools, including Google Meet, Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams.
This recent Zoombombing incident at the federal court hearing is just a reminder that the risk is still there. What does this mean for you and your law firm? It means preventing hacking during conference calls should become a priority. It’s imperative that you take action that will protect the lawyer/client relationship during video conferencing.
Video conferencing for lawyers requires a heightened need for awareness of any potential security issues related to the use of such services.
How to Prevent Zoombombing During Video Conferencing
If you’re using Zoom as a video conferencing tool, the steps below will help lock down your meeting and keep hackers away.
What You Can do Before a Meeting
- Generate a unique meeting ID
- Require participants to register
- Require a passcode
- Require a passcode for participants joining via telephone
- Require participants to be logged into a Zoom account
- Require participants to be logged into an IU Zoom account
- Turn off participant video upon entry
- Mute participants upon entry
- Enable the waiting room
- Ensure file transfers are disabled
- Ensure removed participants are unable to rejoin meetings
What You can Do During a Meeting:
- Designate a co-host
- Prevent participants from screen sharing
- Mute the participant
- Stop the participant’s video
- Remove the participant
- Lock the meeting
How to Handle Zoombombing During Video Conferencing
If you’ have taken the steps above and the suggested tips for meeting security on the platform you use, then you’ have securely “locked down” your meeting.
If your video conference meeting is hacked you’ will want to immediately announce that you are shutting down the meeting and that a new meeting and new invitation will be sent in 10 minutes. Then shut down the meeting right away.
The good news is that most video conferencing platforms have taken steps that make it easy for you to secure your video conferencing calls. If you follow those security steps, more than likely, you will never have an issue with unwanted guests on your video conference.