Top Stories

FBI considers Zoom-bombing violent crime, issues new warning

PITTSBURGH — The FBI Pittsburgh is issuing a major warning after receiving almost 200 reports throughout the United States of graphic images popping up during video chats and Zoom meetings.

Four of them happened right here in the Pittsburgh area.

The phenomenon has even taken on its own name, “Zoom-bombing”, and investigators are taking it very seriously.

>>RELATED HEADLINE: Local school board meeting ends quickly after being Zoom-bombed

The FBI reports that in some of these incidents people are broadcasting child sexual abuse images.

Have questions about the spread of the coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

They are considering it to be a violent crime and every time a child is shown, that child becomes a victim yet again.

You are also a victim by having to see the disturbing images.

The FBI requests that if you are a victim, to contact them as soon as possible.

The FBI said there are some things you can do to prevent this from happening including not making meetings public, requiring a password, using the waiting room to control guests, and only providing the meeting link directly to interested parties.

Investigators are working to trace the images to whoever is responsible and charge them.

“We are investigating this. we are going to continue until they are identified, they are caught and the penalty they are facing is distribution of child porn,” said Timothy Wolford, supervisory Special Agent of the FBI Pittsburgh Field Office.

The FBI says to make sure you record your conference chats so there is evidence if this happens to you.

This all coincides with the Leechburg Area School Board experiencing its own Zoom bombing.

During a recent Zoom school board meeting, someone in attendance aired a pornographic image, according to our partners at TribLIVE.

District officials are investigating and trying to figure out who is responsible.