Thu | Jun 4, 2020

Singapore stops Zoom for online education as hackers strike

Published:Friday | April 10, 2020 | 11:26 AM
In this April 18, 2019 file photo, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan attends the opening bell at Nasdaq as his company holds its IPO in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

HONG KONG (AP) — Singapore has suspended the use of Zoom for online education after hackers hijacked a lesson and showed obscene images to students.

In what is known as “Zoombombing,” two hackers interrupted a geography lesson a day after Singapore closed schools on Wednesday in partial lockdown measures to help curb local transmissions of the coronavirus.

Lessons have moved online, with some teachers using video conferencing tools like Zoom.

Singapore’s Ministry of Education said it was investigating the “serious incidents” and may file police reports.

“We are already working with Zoom to enhance its security settings and make these security measures clear and easy to follow,” said Aaron Loh, director of the ministry’s Educational Technology Division.

“As a precautionary measure, our teachers will suspend their use of Zoom until these security issues are ironed out,” Loh said.

Singapore is not the only country to be affected by the teleconferencing disruptions.

The FBI issued a warning on March 30 advising users to avoid making Zoom meetings public after it received multiple reports of teleconferences and online classrooms being disrupted by hackers displaying hate messages or shouting profanities.

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