A court hearing for alleged Twitter hacker Graham Clark was cut short on Wednesday night due to constant interruptions of the Zoom call including one troll sharing a pornographic video to the entire meeting.
Clark was arrested earlier in the week for being the alleged ‘mastermind’ behind a Twitter hack that saw him take control of notable Twitter accounts like Elon Musk and Kanye West in order to scam bitcoin from users.
Wednesday night’s hearing was about whether Clark’s bond should be lowered from its original sum of US$750,000 and if he should be required to prove money used to pay the bond was gained lawfully, according to cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs.
The hearing's Zoom ID was posted on Florida's court listings and was not password-protected.
In a recording of the incident, judge Christopher Nash is seen struggling to bring order to his virtual courtroom after a meeting participant unmutes and begins rambling loudly.
“Sorry, I’m removing people as quickly as I can whenever a disruption happens,” Nash said.
The hearing continues with prosecutor Darrell Dirks explaining how Clark was moving the bitcoin he allegedly scammed from Twitter users in last month’s hack of high-profile accounts.
What happened next was probably to be expected from a disruptive crowd watching the Zoom hearing of an infamous hacker: someone started playing porn.
Judge Nash looked flabbergasted as he tried to disable the pornographic video being shared in his courtroom.
“Alright, we’re going to – I’m going to end this call,” he said, wide-eyed.
“We’ll, um, just reapply – I’m going to end this … reapply,” the judge continues before he is made inaudible by the incoherent screams of another Zoom-bomber.
The meeting ends abruptly.
How the judge in charge of the proceeding didn't think to enable settings that would prevent people from taking over the screen is beyond me. My guess is he didn't know he could. This guy's reaction sums it up. pic.twitter.com/Zz9aVc5iIg— briankrebs (@briankrebs) August 5, 2020
In the end, Nash decided not to change Clark’s bail conditions.
Clark was charged with 30 felony counts for the Twitter hack, including organised fraud, communications fraud, identity theft and hacking.
According to local Florida reporter, Ryan Hughes, Nash said he would require a password for Zoom court meetings in the future.
Keep your Zoom calls safe
The disruptive intrusion of Zoom calls – also known as ‘Zoom bombing’ – has been a prevalent phenomenon during COVID-19.
Bad actors have been known to jump into calls uninvited, shout slurs, and play distressing content to meeting participants.
Scottish Swimming issued a public apology after a public workout was Zoom-bombed in April – much to the disgust of its 300 participants.
Zoom initially struggled to keep up with the sudden popularity of its video conferencing service caused by coronavirus lockdowns.
But the company has applied multiple fixes and updates to improve its overall security and mitigate the effects of Zoom-bombers.
When scheduling a meeting, Zoom users can change settings to enable a waiting room from which the host can allow users entry, and also force users to be muted once they join the call.
When the host starts a meeting, they have access to another set of security settings which can stop participants from sharing screens and unmuting themselves.
Hosts can also control the settings of individual participants.