6 Signs Your Online Meeting Is Being Hacked

With remote work the new norm, hackers infiltrate this virtual space. Here are 6 signs that there is a hacker lurking in your online meeting.
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6 Signs Your Online Meeting Is Being Hacked

With the work-at-home change now in full swing, millions of professionals connect to an online meeting. Video conferencing is the wave of the future, and the future is now. Many managers and team leaders have found themselves in the unique position of hosting video meetings on a daily and weekly basis, through whatever video platform your team chooses to share.

Online Meeting Infiltration

However, even doing something as simple as holding a meeting, cybersecurity is a concern. The recent Zoom public hacking incident has made it abundantly clear that hackers infiltrate the new work-at-home structure. While the infamous zoom-bombing is typically a disruptive nuisance, hackers are also using these methods to accomplish corporate espionage or conduct more long-term irritant tactics.

Many hackers subtly sneak into a room, often undetected, for hours of observed time with a single team. Are your online meetings being hacked? We’re here to share the leading six signs that there is a hacker lurking in your room. Don’t let them collect information or wait for the perfect moment to disrupt.

Unknown Participant Joins the Chat

Pay attention to the list of meeting participants in your management panel. On many platforms, this is a public list that everyone can see. You know the names or screennames of your team members, so anyone who doesn’t fit into that list is an uninvited guest. Look very closely at the list, more than a glance, when a new person joins. Hackers that slip in with a known login may have a name similar to a regular meeting participant or in the style of your work-contacts and therefore appear to blend in.

Strange Noises in the Online Meeting Audio

Listen for audio that doesn’t make sense in your meeting. Every team deals with the occasional cough or background noise when someone talks. However, hackers who accidentally (or purposefully) open their mics share unfamiliar sounds. The sign might be as subtle as a new fan-noise over the line or more obvious like the sound of an unfamiliar voice. Strange noises of any type that are unexplained during the meeting could be an indication that there is a hacker with a headset on the line.

Sometimes, the hacker’s goal is to distract and throw you off or disrupt the meeting for fun using strange sounds. Sometimes, the sounds are a mistake and a subtle clue to the presence of someone uninvited.

Duplicate Member Video or Image

Hackers who want to blend in as a member of the online meeting sometimes use a black video box. But if that would stand out, they might use a mirror, a snapshot, or a video clip of a real meeting member. This can make it difficult to spot who doesn’t fit in, and pro-video-chat hackers know how to make video loops that seem alive but aren’t.

This mimicry causes confusion and often serves as camouflage.  Keep an eye out not just for duplicates of a member’s image, but also clips of your members from previous meetings that might have been harvested and recorded for the purpose.

Disruptive or Unexpected Media

Sometimes, a hacker will lurk in a video meeting until the perfect opportunity to cause disruption. This is a slower version of traditional zoom-bombing. Hackers might even delight in causing confusion by being strange in their disruption style. Signs that your meeting is being hacked include files and presentations that open on their own, uninvited screen sharing, and sudden loud noises or strange noises through the audio.

Any kind of unexpected and/or disruptive media or sharing behavior is very likely to be a hacker, especially if there is more than one incident of disruption in a single meeting.

Replayed Video of a Room Member

Sometimes, a hacker will create a unique video of a room member from a previous online meeting. Thus, they were present or have a recording of that previous meeting, clipped the user’s video from the file, and are now re-playing gifs with their own image output. This makes it seem like one person is their own twin, with one twin wearing a previous outfit. This is one of the most subtle forms of lurking in a meeting. Indeed, the mimicked member’s video is not mirrored or clearly the same.

Unexpected Room Behavior

Lastly, watch out for any kind of hacked room behavior. Depending on the video meeting platform, it is sometimes possible for hackers to gain control of certain room features. You might find members dropped from the call or even temporarily banned from the virtual meeting room. You might find sharing settings changing, hosted media playing, or mod privileges bouncing around. The level of hack and access will determine what a hacker can do to a virtual meeting room, but not all platforms are secure.

Any time your video chatroom acts up too much, hackers are a reasonable conclusion to draw.

Protect Your Online Meeting

Are your online meetings being hacked, bombed, or snooped? If the answer is “Yes”, we can help you establish a secure meeting solution. If the answer is “No” and you’d like to keep it that way, we strengthen your virtual meeting infrastructure to protect employees and company data.

Remote virtual meetings are the new ways we do business. So, it has become necessary to properly secure the software and solutions put to use when work-at-home was instated. Here at V&C Solutions, we have increased our focus on protecting businesses from both technical and social hacks. Your virtual meetings can be secured, along with the rest of your remote-ready workflow. Allow our team to improve your remote network and defenses so that each employee and team are protected by the upgrades. Contact us today for more information on adapting your cybersecurity solutions to the post-covid business world.

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