Hacked Video Conference

Was your video call infiltrated by an unknown third party? Learn how to recognize and recover from a hacked video conference.

Step 1:Recognize

Red Flags of a Hacked Video Conference

There are a few different warning signs that your video conference is hacked, such as:

  • An unknown participant joins the meeting.
  • You see a duplicate video of a meeting member.
  • Your meeting is disrupted with threatening language, disruptive sound or inappropriate media.
  • Strange messages start popping up in the chat window. Some may include external links that, when clicked, will lead to malicious websites.
  • The quality of your video conference degrades significantly.
  • You are unable to connect to your video conference account, or you are suddenly disconnected from an active call.
  • The audio quality of your video conference deteriorates, or you hear strange noises coming from your computer speakers.
  • You see unexpected activity on your screen, such as new windows popping up or objects moving around.
  • The cursor starts moving on its own, or you see keyboard input that you didn’t enter.

Step 2:Immediate Actions

If you suspect that your video conference has been hacked, it is important to take action immediately:

  • If possible, take a screenshot of disruptive behavior, then shut down the video conferencing software immediately. You may need to submit the screenshot when you report the incident.
  • Immediately close all active applications and shut down your computer.
  • Contact your video conference provider or IT department for help restoring your account and securing your system.
  • Report the incident to the video conference provider where the hacking took place.
  • Review your security settings on the video conferencing software. Consider password protecting your meetings and verifying members before they can enter the meeting room.

Step 3:Report

Reporting any type of cybercrime, including hacked video conferences, is imperative to help others avoid being scammed. As a society, the more people that report online scams and fraud, the more national reporting data that is collected, and the better chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease cybercrime.

Step 4:Recover

How to Prevent Your Video Conference from Being Hacked in the Future

  • Keep the meeting details and ID private. If you post this information online, it’s easy for anyone to join the call.
  • Password-protect your video conference so that only those with the password can join.
  • By default, on most video conference software, the meeting starts when the first person joins. Require the host to be present in order for the meeting to start.
  • Utilize the waiting room feature. This places the meeting attendees in a waiting room before the call starts. The meeting host must manually admit them.

Take 5 Steps for Better Online Security

It’s important to strengthen your online security to help avoid all types of online scams. Take action to improve your digital posture by following these steps:

  1. Implement Multi Factor Authentication (MFA): Passwords are generally easy for scammers to crack, and even if you use strong passphrases, there’s still the possibility that a cybercriminal can obtain your passphrase in a data breach. Implementing MFA is a great way to maximize your security and ensure that you are the only one who can gain access to your accounts. MFA should be implemented on all accounts where it is available. Check your account’s security settings to see if it is something you can set up.
  2. Update Your Privacy Settings: Privacy settings allow you to control your personal information (name, address, phone number, date of birth, financial details, photos or videos, etc) and how that information is used. Review your privacy settings on all of your accounts including your social media accounts. Consider restricting who can see your friends list, contacts, photos and posts.
  3. Activate Automatic Updates: Automatic updates are a set of changes to an app, software or operating system that are automatically pushed by the developer to fix or improve it. Oftentimes, cybercriminals take advantage of security flaws to plant malicious software on your devices. By activating automatic updates, you will automatically patch security vulnerabilities to protect your data.
  4. Create Strong Passphrases: A strong passphrase is a string of unrelated words separated by hyphen, space, period, capitalized first letter or number. Use passphrases that are longer than 15 characters and include multiple words that do not have any obvious connection between them. The key to passphrases is randomness. Don’t repeat your passphrases between accounts and consider using a password manager to help you remember.
  5. Learn the Elements of a Phishing Attempt: Familiarize yourself with the elements of a phishing email. Phishing emails tend to include a sense of urgency and multiple grammar and spelling errors. If they are asking you to reveal personal information, be suspicious. If you get a strange email, try contacting the company another way to confirm they sent that email. If the email is suspicious, mark it as spam.

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Without Fightcybercrime.org, I don't know if I would have been able to react as quickly to protect my personal information.
Mary - Indianapolis, IN

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