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Porn ‘bomb’ church Zoom meeting in Nairobi

A religious community in Nairobi has been left in shock after a virtual prayer meeting was attacked by “zoom-bombers” displaying images of porn.

The incident happened on Friday when Nairobi News understands, worshippers of Christ is the Answer Ministries (CITAM) Buruburu attended online services via Zoom call owing to social distancing restrictions in place to tackle the novel coronavirus outbreak.

But instead of receiving spiritual nourishment, they were instead “zoom-bombed” by unknown hackers who put up slideshows exposing churchgoers to a series of disturbing images and abuse videos.

Zoom-bombing or Zoom-raiding is the unwanted intrusion into a video conference call by an individual which causes disruption.

Cases of unnecessary content finding its way onto Zoom meetings are increasingly common.

Last year, a California church sued video chat company Zoom after a hacker allegedly hijacked a virtual Bible study class to post graphic images of child abuse.

The hacker allegedly took over users’ computers and played “sick and disturbing videos”, according to the lawsuit filed by Saint Paulus Lutheran Church.

In a statement, a Zoom spokesperson condemned the “horrific event.”

“Our hearts go out to those impacted. On the same day we learned of this incident, we identified the offender, took action to block their access to the platform, and reported them to the relevant authorities,” the company said.

The firm pointed to its “recently updated security features”, adding that Zoom users should not widely share meeting access and passwords “as appeared to be the case” with the church group.

Zoom has faced sharp criticism after it emerged some meeting data could have been routed through servers in China, so the ability for users to control which data centres their data is routed through has now also been added.

The video app was also criticised earlier this month after it emerged the platform was not using end-to-end encryption for all meetings, despite suggesting it on its website.