Syracuse University’s Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Department of Public Safety are investigating a reported “Zoombombing” incident that occurred on Wednesday, Feb. 17, during a virtual meeting of a student organization.
A participant reported that an unknown individual hacked the open session, repeatedly typed a racist epithet in the chat function and played offensive music. The organizer of the Zoom session quickly transitioned the open Zoom session to a private session and apologized to all participants.
The organizer notified the Department of Public Safety—who in turn contacted ITS. A full investigation is underway. At this time, it is unclear from where the hack occurred and whether the hacker has any affiliation with the University.
“Whether or not this individual has an affiliation with the University, this kind of racist behavior is appalling and has no role in our learning and living community,” says Chief Bobby Maldonado. “We will work with the appropriate law enforcement, as well as ITS, to investigate who is responsible and hold them accountable.”
“Zoombombing has been on the rise in the past year, particularly on college campuses, given the move to virtual learning,” says Samuel J. Scozzafava Jr., vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “It is critically important that all members of our community take the necessary precautions to secure their Zoom sessions to prevent hacking and to ensure a smooth and uneventful virtual learning and engagement experience.”
To read more, including important steps to take when hosting a Zoom session, visit news.syr.edu.