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Sticky situation: S. African virtual parliament session Zoom-bombed with PORN

Sticky situation: S. African virtual parliament session Zoom-bombed with PORN
South Africa’s National Assembly was unceremoniously ‘Zoom-bombed’ on Thursday morning, when a hacker inundated lawmakers’ screens with porn. The miscreant also racially abused the assembly’s speaker Thandi Modise.

The politicians were just 50 seconds into the first item on the agenda, shortly after 9am on Thursday morning, when DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone was cut off mid-sentence while discussing how future virtual meetings of parliament would be conducted.  

“This is exactly what I said about Zoom!” exclaimed shocked speaker Modise, in reference to a previous South African virtual parliamentary session which was hacked on the same platform. 

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More pornographic images and videos flashed across the screens as lawmakers scrambled to avert their gaze in apparent shock and disgust. The meeting lasted a reported 4.5 minutes before the decision was made to cut proceedings short. As the farce unfolded, a man’s voice could be heard making racist and sexually offensive remarks at Modise. 

The meeting was reconvened later in the day as South Africa remains under strict lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

Meanwhile, Zoom has been widely criticized for its apparent lack of security, which led to the prevalence of this ‘Zoom-bombing’ trend, in which uninvited guests troll random Zoom calls. 

A virtual meeting held by the election commission of the US state of Indiana in April was also Zoom-bombed with sexually explicit content, this time by a masturbating hacker. 

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There has been a spate of high-profile Zoom-bombings in recent weeks as the world turns to virtual meeting platforms amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown. From May 9, free Zoom accounts will require passwords for all meetings, preventing unscrupulous hackers from dropping in uninvited.

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