Internet trolls have hacked into various Alcoholics Anonymous video conference calls where they shout slurs, misogynistic comments and taunt members about the taste of alcohol.
The AA meeting for the New York Inter-Group Association, the regional division of the national organization, has been meeting remotely for the past week using the software Zoom to have video meetings in light of the coronavirus lockdown, which bans large gatherings.
During Tuesday’s meeting the members suddenly heard a man’s voice interject and shout anti-Semitic slurs and insensitive references to drinking boasting, ‘Alcohol is soooo good’, one group participant said, according to Business Insider.
Internet trolls have hacked into various Alcoholics Anonymous video conference meetings where they shouted slurs, misogynistic comments and taunted members about how good alcohol tastes. A file image of people using the Zoom video conference software above
The intruder ruined the meeting, prompting participants to sign out of the video conference.
Meeting organizers quickly muted the troll and removed them from the meeting.
However, the Zoom hacking incident isn’t a solitary incident.
Digital break-ins on Zoom meetings are taking place across the nation as much of country is placed on lockdown and forced to resort to online video conferences to communicate.
All trolls have to do is search the internet for links to video conferences and enter the calls to launch their sneering harassment.
The hacking of New York Intergroup AA meetings has taken place a couple times this week, prodding the organization to publish guidelines for members to set up special security settings to prevent trolls from entering.
The FBI issued a warning about Zoom hacking on Monday after the video conferences of several schools were disrupted by intruders
One disturbing YouTube channel has various videos showing Zoom trolling, showing hackers flashing bottles of Jack Daniels at an AA meeting. That video was later taken down, according to PCMag.
Not only is the hacking of support groups like AA a nuisance, it’s a breach of privacy.
The FBI issued a warning about Zoom hacking on Monday after the video conferences of several schools were disrupted by intruders.
This map shows how the number of coronavirus cases in the US has surpassed 181,000 as of Tuesday and over 3,000 deaths
Some trolls have gathered in hordes in forums on 4chan and Discord to organize such Zoom harassment campaigns.
Zoom said the company is ‘deeply upset to hear about the incidents involving this kind of attack.’
‘For those hosting large, public group meetings, we strongly encourage hosts to review their settings and confirm that only the host can share their screen. For those hosting private meetings, password protections are on by default and we recommend that users keep those protections on to prevent uninvited users from joining,’ a Zoom spokesperson said.