Singapore, April 10 (IANS) Singapore on Friday suspended the use of video-conferencing tool Zoom by its teachers, after “very serious incidents” during a home-based lesson.
Singapore closed its schools on Wednesday in response to a rising number of coronavirus cases, the BBC reported.
Parents told local media that the incidents took place in a geography class for first-year secondary school pupils.
About 39 children were in the class when the stream was hacked, before “two Caucasian men” appeared and made lewd comments. The class was stopped immediately.
“Home-based learning is supposed to be a safe space,” one parent told the Singapore-based Straits Times. “I know it’s difficult to manage but as a parent I feel very concerned.”
It’s not known how the hackers gained access.
Zoom meetings have nine-digit IDs and can, in theory, be joined by any user if they are not protected by the organiser.
“These are very serious incidents,” the BBC quotd Aaron Loh of the government’s educational technology division, as saying.
“The Ministry of Education is currently investigating both breaches and will lodge a police report if warranted.
“As a precautionary measure, our teachers will suspend their use of Zoom until these security issues are ironed out.”
Also in response, Zoom told the BBC that the company was “deeply upset” about the incidents.
“We have been deeply upset to hear about these types of incidents,” a spokesperson said.
“Zoom strongly condemns such behaviour and we encourage users to report any incidents of this kind directly to Zoom so we can take appropriate action.”
The company said it had “changed default settings”, to “enable virtual waiting rooms and ensure only hosts can share their screens by default”.
It has also set up a guide for setting up and securing virtual classrooms.