BILLINGS - A Billings church is now working with the FBI and local authorities after its Zoom worship service was hacked with graphic images this past week.
In a Facebook post, Church leaders from Billings First Congregational Church at 310 N. 27th St. say their congregation "watched in horror as our Zoom worship service was overtaken this past week by someone with incredibly evil intent."
The post goes on to say the highjacker broadcast a criminal act against a child.
This type of act is being called "Zoom-bombing."
The post says: "As a congregation that values strong boundaries as a display our love and health, this could not have gone deeper to the heart of who we are. "
The post also stated this will call for a radical change in its worship presentation during the pandemic.
"Well, obviously, we watched in horror-- as our statement said-- as we realized that our Zoom service was overtaken by someone and our reaction was really just shock and horror," Pastor Lisa Harmon told Q2 News.
The post says Rev. Marc Stewart swiftly moved to call the FBI and file a Missing Children’s Report.
Several weeks ago, the the FBI warned about “Zoom-bombing,” where hackers hijack teleconferences and online classrooms on the popular remote conferencing platform.
When using platforms like Zoom, the FBI recommends exercising due diligence and caution in your cybersecurity efforts. Investigators say to follow these steps to mitigate teleconference hijacking threats:
- Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.