The coronavirus pandemic has given rise to a new wave of cybercrime as more and more people transition their lives online amid ongoing stay-at-home orders in New York and other states. Zoom has seen widespread use for distance learning, work meetings, fitness classes and more. While the videoconferencing platform has experienced a surge in popularity, law enforcement officials have noted that it is also being used for pranks, harassment and coordinated online attacks.
Federal prosecutors recently warned that so-called Zoombombing is now a federal offense that could lead to fines or imprisonment. It occurs when someone hacks into a public or private Zoom meeting to broadcast pornography, offensive videos, threatening language or other disruptive content. The FBI said offenders can be charged with fraud, hate crimes, using a computer to commit a crime or transmitting threatening communications.
In a recent case, a teenage student allegedly conspired with a YouTuber in New York to disrupt an online classroom on Zoom. The YouTuber, who has millions of followers, was accused of using “obscene language and gestures.” The teenager was charged with conspiracy to commit fifth-degree computer crime, fifth-degree computer crime and breach of peace.
The FBI advised schools, businesses and others using Zoom to make sure their online meetings are on the private setting. The agency also urged users to install the latest app updates and to avoid sharing videoconferencing links over social media.
If you have been accused of a cybercrime, contact Brill Legal Group. We are experienced in handling hacking, phishing and other internet crimes. While our defense lawyers are working remotely for health and safety reasons during the coronavirus pandemic, we are still available to discuss your case.