Children taking part in a fitness class on Zoom were left horrified when a hacker streamed child sex abuse footage to their session.
About 60 children were taking part in the class being hosted by a sports club in Plymouth when they were exposed to “extremely distressing” material, police said.
Devon and Cornwall Police believe the “Zoom-bombing” hacker gained access to the online conferencing app – which is a popular way of communicating during the coronavirus lockdown – after details of the event were published on online forums.
Detective Inspector Lesley Bulley said officers were working to identify the suspect following the “distressing offence” on Tuesday morning.
She said: “We are working closely with Plymouth Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and I request that, if you have been affected by this, then you come forward and let us know who you are so we can provide the necessary advice and support.”
The force has issued advice to people using online video conferencing, including ensuring the host is the only person able to share material and ensuring the meeting is locked to prevent unauthorised access.
Cyber protection officer Grahame Mace echoed this advice, stressing the importance of private sessions.
He said: “First and foremost, understand what security settings you have implemented and are available for your software, don’t leave yourself or others vulnerable, lock it down and keep the criminals out.”
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