FBI Warns of Teleconferencing and Online Classroom Hijacking During Pandemic

The FBI recently issued a warning for all citizens, urging them to be extremely cautious as their online interactions change drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As we’re all aware, this novel coronavirus has significantly changed our world in many ways, especially in how we work and how our students learn.

The warning indicates that due to a strong increase in online collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, WebEx, there has been a surge in the amount of attempts of hackers to gain access to these meetings to disrupt them and cause problems.  There have been a number of security incidents reported recently in which an attacker gained access to the meeting and displayed pornographic images or hateful messages and imagery to the audience.  This type of disruption can be devastating for a business setting and even more disastrous for young children to be exposed to such horrific things.

There are a number of precautions you can take while using this very helpful tools for your business setting and also with your children for their online learning:

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public.  In most applications, there are options to make a meeting private by requiring a password or a special link to visit.
  • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.  Provide the link directly to specific people.
  • Manage screensharing options in these applications by changing this privilege to “Host Only.”
  • Ensure all users are using the most updated version of remote access / meeting applications.
  • Lastly, ensure that your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses the requirements for physical and information security.

These powerful tools can transform a business into one more efficient and capable than ever before, especially during these difficult times.  Nevertheless, it’s critical to ensure these tools are being used correctly to mitigate the inherent risks they present.  Falah Consulting can help provide you with the proper setup, configuration, testing and training to make sure these tools are used correctly in your organization.  Contact us today to find out how we can help.


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