Porn Disrupts Dana Point Elementary Student Online Class

Christel Deskins

DANA POINT, CA —Parents of Capistrano Unified School District students were nervous enough to get kids logged in for online learning this week, but to be confronted by an outside hijacker set many on edge. A Palisades Elementary School class, in Capistrano Beach, was interrupted by a graphic display of […]

DANA POINT, CA —Parents of Capistrano Unified School District students were nervous enough to get kids logged in for online learning this week, but to be confronted by an outside hijacker set many on edge.

A Palisades Elementary School class, in Capistrano Beach, was interrupted by a graphic display of porn during a joint fifth and 6th-grade learning session on Tuesday, the district reported.

Along with schools across the Southland, Orange County schools have been forced to return to the classroom through online learning for the first part of the 2020-21 school year. With in-person gatherings halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, Google Meet and Zoom sessions have become the new classrooms where students meet their teachers, see their friends, and do their classwork, remotely. Such sessions, with open links, can fall victim to online hijacking or Zoom Bombing, a spokesperson for the FBI says.

On Tuesday afternoon, about 15 to 20 Palisades fifth and 6th graders were interrupted with a visual display of pornography during an online session. It was unknown how long the porn played until the teacher managed to shut it down as of this report.

Palisades’ parents were shocked and concerned following the incident, according to the school district.

Principal Lisa Baggio shared her apologies with parents, San Clemente Times reported, saying that the school is “working with the district to investigate this incident and determine additional next steps to prevent this from happening again.”

According to Capistrano Unified District Spokesperson Ryan Burris, the incident originated “from someone who had access to the links,” and law enforcement has been contacted in this case.

A student resource officer was sent to the school, and an investigation is ongoing, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller tells Patch that they have spent much of the summer talking with school districts, churches, and city councils about the probability of such teleconference hijacking or “Zoom Bombing” incidents.

“Any time a link is made public, (Zoom bombing) becomes possible,” she said. “In June, we received hundreds of calls about such incidents across Southern California. There are precautions people can take. Education is key. Clearly, it is still happening.”

Palisades and other Capistrano Unified School District classes are using Google Meet for distance learning, according to Burris.

Going forward, teachers and staff will use secure plug-ins, giving only those with the CUSD domain access to the meetings, according to Burris.
“We ask all teachers and principals to use that plug-in” to make each meeting more secure,” Burris said.

The FBI offered these steps to avoid teleconference hijacking threats:

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.

  • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.

  • Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”

  • Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.

  • Lastly, ensure that your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security.

If you were a victim of a teleconference hijacking, or any cyber-crime for that matter, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. Additionally, if you receive a specific threat during a teleconference, please report it to us at tips.fbi.gov or call the FBI Boston Division at (857) 386-2000.

Read also:
Porn Interrupts Laguna Beach City Council Meeting

This article originally appeared on the Laguna Niguel-Dana Point Patch

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