Police issue public safety alert after rise in hijacking of virtual meetings

Apr 24 2020, 12:44 pm

The Toronto Police Service has issued a public safety alert after an increase in reported occurrences involving the hijacking of virtual meeting spaces over the last few weeks.

Police say they are actively investigating virtual meetings that are “being interrupted by uninvited guests who share hate-related content or child sexual abuse material.”

For those organizing virtual meetings, police are recommending following these steps:

  • If possible, do not make your meeting ID public
  • Create a unique meeting ID for each session
  • Require a meeting password that is known only by invited guests
  • Preview meeting attendees in a virtual waiting room before having them join the session
  • If possible, only have the host stream video and do not allow file transfers during the meeting

Police say that while these tips cannot guarantee the security of virtual meetings, it will be more difficult for anyone to interrupt the stream with traumatic and/or illegal content.

Anyone who has been the victim of such an attack is encouraged to contact police at 416-808-2222, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on the Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).