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Concerns Growing Over Zoom Bombing As Hackers Interrupt Meetings

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The video conference app Zoom has risen to popularity during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are concerns about people hacking into calls and interrupting meetings.

From virtual happy hours to classes and meetings, Zoom is helping us connect in a time of unprecedented isolation.

But as users like Eastchester mother Susan Mastrolia found out, hackers are infiltrating too.

She says her 4-year-old daughter was participating in a local library's Zoom call Thursday when a group of teenage boys hijacked the screen.

"It happened in seconds. They started drawing, then they realized they were in a story-time, and then they started with... the pornographic images started popping up and the director got us out," Mastrolia told CBS2's Christina Fan.

These cyber attacks are happening so often now, the FBI sent out a warning this week about so-called Zoombombers posting racist and graphic images.

It even happened to the New York Rangers. A video chat with prospect K'Andre Miller and fans was quickly disabled Friday when someone hijacked the chat to post racist slurs.

"I think they just, they don't understand the consequences of their actions," Mastrolia said.

IT expert Fred Beyer, with FitechGelb, says there are simple settings you can change to better secure the app: use passwords for participants, set up a waiting room so the host can control who joins the meeting, and most importantly, do not share your meeting link publicly.

"You can actually find public links for people's meetings and just join them, and this is how some of these things are happening," Beyer said.

Experts say failing to enable security features not only opens you up to online trolls, important information can be stolen from your business meetings.

"It's like going and walking into an office and just sitting in a corporate board meeting and stealing all their information," Beyer said.

Zoom's CEO says the company is freezing feature updates immediately to address better address these security issues in the next 90 days.

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