Churchgoers are horrified when ‘pranksters’ hacked their Zoom meeting with gay porn and Nazi flags while a voice repeatedly shouted ‘motherf*****s’ and urged them to ‘convert to Islam’
- Worcester Diocese members were subjected to a barrage of offensive content
- They were repeatedly shouted at and were shown Nazi flags during a Zoom call
- Diocese apologised to parishioners and has now stepped up their online security
Church parishioners were left mortified after a group of pranksters infiltrated their Zoom meeting before bombarding them with videos of gay porn and images of Nazi flags.
During their conference, Worcester Diocese members were subjected to a barrage of offensive content while a voice repeatedly shouted ‘motherf***ers.’
They were also urged to ‘convert to Islam’ before images showing four men engaging in a sex act also flashed up on their screen.
In a video posted to YouTube, which has since been removed, elderly church members were seen reacting in horror when their conference was gatecrashed by the hackers on September 21.
Worcester Diocese members were left mortified after a group of hackers infiltrated their Zoom meeting and subjected them to a barrage of offensive content
The Diocese has apologised to parishioners who witnessed the ‘unpleasant and distressing’ content and said they have now stepped up their online security measures.
A spokesman said: ‘We are currently running a series of meetings on Zoom to enable people from our churches across Worcestershire and Dudley to become involved in the future plans for our Diocese.
‘Anyone is welcome to attend and although we keep a list, we don’t always know all those who have signed up.
‘Unfortunately at our meeting on Monday, several people were admitted who shared some offensive and disturbing content on both their profile pictures and in the chat line.
‘We removed a number of people immediately, but one remained undetected and therefore we took the decision to end the meeting.
‘As a result we have increased our security and changed our processes and are confident that all future meetings can go ahead without any further issues.
‘We held a meeting on Tuesday evening with no problems.
Since the beginning of lockdown earlier this year there has been an increase in ‘zoombombing’. (Stock image)
‘We have apologised to all those who were present at Monday’s meeting and have offered the opportunity to speak to a member of our safeguarding team if anyone was distressed by what they saw.
‘Many of those present have already signed up to a future date.
‘It wasn’t very pleasant for any of us who were there, but we’re confident that we’ve minimised the risk of it happening again.’
There has been an increase in ‘zoombombing’ since lockdown forced companies to use the video conference app as more employees worked from home.
The hacking method is a type of cyber-harassment in which an individual or a group of unwanted and uninvited users interrupt online meetings.
This disruption occurs when intruders gate-crash gatherings – sometimes for malicious purposes, such as sharing pornographic or hate images or shouting offensive language.
To avoid interruptions, meeting attendees must use a passcode to join a meeting.
An additional protective feature is Waiting Room, where the host must admit attendees.