Zoom to make passwords, waiting rooms default after video chat hacking, hijacking reports

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Zoom video chat service is stepping up security after reports of meeting and group chats being hacked and hijacked.

As Zoom has become more popular during the coronavirus stay-at-home orders and social distancing, and so has Zoom hijacking.

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez, who represents the city's 25th Ward, said one of his video conferences was hacked.

RELATED: Chicago alderman's Zoom meeting hacked, porn shown; FBI warns about video chat hijacking

He was discussing the pandemic with community leaders when out of nowhere he said an unfamiliar voice shouted "No one cares!" and seconds later pornographic images appeared on the screen of his Zoom video chat.

It has happened to other Zoom users as well. The FBI said it has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by intruders making lewd comments and even displaying pornographic images.

As a result, Zoom said Friday it will enable passwords and turn on waiting rooms by default starting on April 5.

"We're always striving to continue to deliver you a secure virtual meeting environment," the company said in a statement. "Based on feedback fromn our community, we've chosen to enable passwords on your meetings and turn on Waiting Rooms by default starting April 5th, as additional security enhancements to protect your privacy."

The FBI issued a warning about the hackings, and has asked anyone who experiences a video chat hijacking to report it to them.

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