Grovecrest Elementary School

Grovecrest Elementary School in Pleasant Grove, Utah

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A video meeting hosted by Utah’s Alpine School District was hacked, revealing pornographic images to dozens of elementary school students last week.

The incident happened April 1 on a call with Grovecrest Elementary School Principal Kyle Hoopes, district spokesperson Kimberly Bird told KUTV-TV. The district, which is the primary school district in northern Utah County south of Salt Lake City, was using the video conferencing service Zoom.

The images were on the screen for a few seconds, exposing up to 50 students, district spokesman David Stephenson told The Salt Lake Tribune.

“It would be a good idea to talk with your children who may have heard or seen what was shared,” the Pleasant Grove, Utah, school said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The school expects to continue to use Zoom for its weekly meetings, but it will take extra precautions, including password-protection, the statement said.

District administrators have met to reassess how video conferencing will be handled as the district continues online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re trying to provide a good experience for our students, and their safety is of the utmost (importance),” Stephenson said. “We’re very disappointed that someone out there would take this opportunity to Zoom-bomb an elementary school meeting.”

The school posted the meeting information on its Facebook page two hours before the call started, including a link to join.

The district has filed a report with the Pleasant Grove Police Department for investigation.

Zomb-bombing, or the hacking of Zoom calls, has been more frequent in recent weeks as new users join the platform amid lockdown orders and event cancellations.

Last week, a Zoom meeting with Utah Republican Party leaders was hacked and pornography was shown to all the participants.

The company has shared instructions on how to prevent such hacks on its YouTube page.

“We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s — and our own — privacy and security expectations. For that, I am deeply sorry,” Zoom said in a statement on its blog.

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