A California church is suing video chat company Zoom after a hacker allegedly hijacked a virtual Bible study class to post pornography and child abuse.

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

The San Francisco church’s leaders contacted Zoom for help, but the company “did nothing”, the suit says.

Zoom declined to comment, but pointed to new security features on the app.

The popularity of the Zoom video chat app has soared in recent months for work and leisure as virus lockdown measures have kept millions at home.

The inflated use has come with heightened scrutiny over its security and privacy measures, with reports of so-called “Zoombombing” – where uninvited guests hack into meetings, sometimes posting racist, abusive or explicit content.

Saint Paulus Church – one of the oldest churches in San Francisco – said in the suit, filed to a federal court in San Jose on Wednesday, that its 6 May bible study class was hacked by a “known offender – one who has been reported to the authorities multiple times”.

The eight Bible study students, mostly pensioners, had their computers’ control systems disabled while the hacker played pornographic videos.

“The footages were sick and sickening – portraying adults engaging in sex acts with each other and performing sex acts on infants and children, in addition to physically abusing them,” the suit alleges.

When the students tried to end the video session and start again, the hacker attacked again, the suit says.

The church has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the San Jose-based Zoom. It is seeking unspecified damages for claims of negligence, breach of implied contract, unjust enrichment and unfair business practices.

The teleconferencing giant post an updated to its security measures this week in a blog post, which promised more security features to come, including plans to build end-to-end encryption. It has been criticised previously for wrongly claiming the app already had the feature – meaning that only the participating users can access the messages and video.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

UAE’s warm welcome to Israelis reflects changing region

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — In less than 24 hours on the ground, Israel’s first-of-its-kind delegation to the United Arab Emirates received a royal welcome that would have been nearly unthinkable just a few weeks ago. Dozens of Israeli…

City to remove statue of British naval captain after whom it was named

A statue of a British naval captain will be removed by the city council in Hamilton, New Zealand after a local Māori elder threatened to take it down by force. The statue of Captain John Hamilton, after whom the city…

Amazon fires worker who led strike over coronavirus concerns

An Amazon worker who led a walkout at a New York City facility on Monday has been fired. Chris Smalls, an assistant manager and organizer, learned of his termination as dozens of workers protested against the company’s response to the…

Chelsea dig in to foil Manchester United in a game that felt out of time

Ole Gunnar Solskjær can do one big thing well, and that is sit his side deep and attack on the counter. Frank Lampard has one big thing he has struggled to do well, and that is set his side up…