NJ school district halts Zoom meetings after hacker reportedly streamed porn, racist message

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A New Jersey school district on Monday announced it will halt using Zoom, the video conferencing platform, amid an investigation into allegations that a hacker streamed pornography and racist language during an online lesson.

Lumberton Township Public Schools in Burlington County made the announcement in a letter sent out to the school community.

Members of the Vermont House of Representatives convene in a Zoom video conference for its first full parliamentary online session in Montpelier, Vt. 

Members of the Vermont House of Representatives convene in a Zoom video conference for its first full parliamentary online session in Montpelier, Vt.  (Zoom via AP)

Superintendent Joe Langowski said a hacker gained access to an online middle school lesson before showing pornographic images and using racist language. Langowski said the incident lasted around 15 seconds.

A teacher and co-host ended the hacker’s Zoom session immediately after the incident and alerted the school district’s administration.

“We have worked tirelessly to develop a superior educational experience for the children of Lumberton in these most difficult times, but as always, the safety of our children is paramount,” Langowski wrote. “Therefore, we will be suspending the use of Zoom temporarily while we determine if it can continue to be used safely for our students.”

The Lumberton Township Police has opened an investigation, the Burlington County Times reported.

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Zoom has soared in popularity in recent weeks as schools and businesses have been forced to move online while most of the U.S. is under stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But the company has also been beset by reports of so-called “Zoom-bombing,” whereby apparent hackers disrupt conferences or online classrooms with pornography, hateful images, or threatening language.

The number of reports prompted the FBI to issue a warning for Zoom users to exercise caution and review security settings.

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In a statement provided to Fox News, Zoom said it was "deeply upset to hear about these types of incidents."

"Zoom is committed to providing educators with the tools and resources they need on a safe and secure platform, and we are continuing to engage with all of our users on how they can best use Zoom and protect their meetings," the company said.